Kiptum ran the 2023 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:00.35, setting a new world record
Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died at the age of 24 after a car accident in western Kenya on Sunday. Kiptum's coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also died in the accident.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Sunday. "On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation."
Coe continued: "It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon World Record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time."
"An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly," he concluded.
According to an ESPN report, Kiptum and Hakizimana were killed in the crash that happened between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat at 11 p.m. local time. The high-altitude region is a popular training base for long-distance runners. An unidentified woman who was also in the car during the crash was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, Kenyan media reported.
Elgeyo Marakwet County Police Commander Peter Mulinge told CNN that Kiptum was driving the vehicle, a Toyota Premio, at the time of the accident, and both he and Hakizimana died at the scene.
“He lost control, veered off the road, entered into a ditch 60 meters away and hit a big tree,” Mulinge said.
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Kiptum rose to fame when he became the first man to run the Chicago Marathon in under 2 hours and 1 minute. He set the record with a time of 2:00.35 in October 2023. Kiptum also won the London Marathon in April 2023.
A rising star in long-distance running, he was widely considered to be the successor to fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, who set the previous marathon record of 2:01:09 at the 2022 Berlin Marathon.
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