In a tragic accident, marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a car crash in Kenya late Sunday. The news was confirmed by fellow athlete Milcah Chemos, who was at the hospital where the bodies were taken.
Kiptum, 24 years old, was on course to become a superstar of long-distance running. He had set a new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. His success continued as he won two prestigious marathons last year, including the London and Chicago races.
The crash happened on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the high-altitude region known for its training base for long-distance runners. A third person, a woman, was also reportedly involved in the accident with serious injuries.
Kenyan athletics federation president Jackson Tuwei sent a team of officials to the area after being informed of the late-night accident. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe also offered his condolences on behalf of all World Athletics in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana,” Coe wrote. “On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the Kenyan nation.”