In a tragic turn of events, Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, passed away in a road accident on Sunday. The 24-year-old had won the London Marathon in April and set the world record in Chicago in October.
Kiptum lost control of his vehicle while driving in Kaptagat, south-west Kenya, at 11pm local time. His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also died in the crash, with a third person being taken to the hospital. The prime minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, along with the minister for sports, Ababu Namwamba, expressed heartbreak over the loss of Kelvin Kiptum. The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, was also deeply saddened by the news.
According to local county commander Peter Mulinge, the accident was caused by Kiptum losing control of his vehicle and striking a tree before landing in a ditch. Unfortunately for all involved, both Kiptum and Hakizimana were killed instantly while the third passenger was taken to a hospital in Eldoret.
Kelvin Kiptum recently had his world record ratified by World Athletics and announced plans to become the first athlete to run an official marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam in April. However, these plans were cut tragically short by his untimely death. The sports world is mourning this loss and paying tribute to an incredible athlete who will be greatly missed.