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Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum dead after fatal car accident in Kenya

Published at :February 12, 2024 at 4:25 PM
Modified at :February 18, 2024 at 8:52 AM
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(Courtesy : CNN)

Manjit Verma


The accident occurred on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya.

Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who had been on the cusp of becoming a superstar in long-distance running, tragically lost his life along with his coach in a car accident in Kenya late Sunday.

Kiptum, aged 24, had his world record, set last year at the Chicago Marathon, officially ratified by the international track federation World Athletics just last week. He was hailed as one of the most promising talents in road running in recent years and was a strong contender for a gold medal in the marathon at the upcoming Paris Olympics in August.

The Kenyan athlete and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana sadly passed away in the crash around 11 p.m., confirmed by another Kenyan athlete, Milcah Chemos, to The Associated Press. Chemos, visibly shaken, struggled to find words to express the loss, breaking down in tears.

The accident occurred on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, a region renowned for its high-altitude training grounds for elite distance runners. Kiptum, a native of the area, had been raised and trained there.

According to Denis Muga, the area police chief for Kaptagat, Kiptum was driving alone when the accident happened, involving no other vehicles. The Kenyan track federation expressed deep sorrow at the loss of Kiptum and Hakizimana.

Kenneth Kimaiyo, a friend of Kiptum who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash, described a scene where Kiptum had been ejected from the vehicle. The car, apparently traveling at high speed, veered off the road, collided with a tree, and rolled over. A third person, a woman, sustained serious injuries and was taken to the hospital.

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Kelvin Kiptum Major Records

Kelvin Kiptum had made history by becoming the first man to complete a marathon in under 2 hours, 1 minute, with a world record time of 2:00:35 in Chicago in October. His rivalry with fellow Kenyan marathon great Eliud Kipchoge was highly anticipated for the Paris Olympics.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe extended condolences, emphasizing Kiptum’s incredible legacy and the impact of his untimely passing.

David Rudisha, Kenya’s two-time Olympic champion in the 800 meters, also mourned Kiptum’s death, highlighting the magnitude of the loss to the athletics community.

Kiptum had shown remarkable talent early in his career, setting records and winning prestigious marathons, establishing himself as one of the brightest stars in the sport despite his youth and relative newcomer status.

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