Kelvin Kiptum, world marathon record holder, died in a car accident. The 24-year-old athlete, local media reported, citing police and his family members, was in the car with his coach Gervais Hakizimana, who also died in the collision.
Media reported that Kiptum was behind the wheel when the car went off the road about 11pm on Sunday in Kaptaget in Kenya's southwestern highlands, a region where many Kenyan long-distance runners train. Initial investigations indicate Kiptum lost control and crashed into a tree, local police chief Peter Mulinge told the Daily Nation newspaper. The third person in the car, a woman, was seriously injured and was taken to a nearby hospital. No other vehicles were involved 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, adding that Kiptum was “an incredible athlete who leaves an incredible legacy.”
Kiptum set a marathon world record of two hours and 35 seconds at the 2023 Chicago Marathon, beating Eliud Kipchoge's record by 34 seconds. He became the first person to officially run a marathon in under two hours and one minute. Kiptum will attempt to run the first official marathon under two hours in Rotterdam this April.