On Sunday, August 21st, Kenyan marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed in a car crash on the road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya. The news was confirmed by Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos, who was at the hospital where the bodies were taken.
Kiptum was 24 years old and had been on course to becoming a superstar of long-distance running. He set the new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. His record was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week.
Kiptum’s immediate success began with his debut at the 2022 Valencia Marathon, where he ran the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant. He went on to win two of the most prestigious marathons in the world – London and Chicago – last year. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe was one of the first to offer his condolences after hearing about Kiptum’s death. “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” Coe wrote in a statement on Twitter (formerly X). “On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.”