Kelvin Kiptum: Marathon world record holder dies in Kenya car crash
By TOI Desk Report February 12, 2024 Update on : February 12, 2024
Kelvin Kiptum, who set the record for the fastest marathon ever, was killed in a car crash in his native Kenya on Sunday. He was 24.
His Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana was also killed in the crash, reports abcnews.
Kiptum was set to be a superstar of long-distance running and was a top contender for gold at the Olympics in Paris this year, said the sports governing body World Athletics.
He shocked the running world last year when he blazed through the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours and 35 seconds.
International track federation World Athletics had just ratified his historic record, set at last year’s Chicago Marathon, this previous week.
The accident happened near the town of Kaptagat in western Kenya around 11:00pm when the car veered off a road and into a ditch before hitting a tree. Kiptum was driving the vehicle, said police.
The runner was born and raised in the same area.
His death echoed through Kenya.
Offering his condolences Kenyan President William Ruto said “He [Kelvin ] was only 24.”
Kiptum was our future, the president added in a statement.
Police also said a 24-year-old woman was also in the car and was taken to a hospital with serious injuries while Kiptum and Hakizimana died on the spot.
Kiptum’s father and athletes and family members gathered at the hospital mortuary where the bodies of Kiptum and his coach were kept.
When Kiptum set the world record of 2:00.35 in Chicago in October, he was the first man to run the marathon in under 2 hours, 1 minute in an official race.
His record came by beating the mark of fellow Kenyan and marathon great Eliud Kipchoge, who is the reigning two-time Olympic champion.