The Kenyan one Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum is according to media reports on Sunday traffic accident in his home country lost his life.
With him his coach Gervais Hakizimana died. “I am at a loss for words. Kenya has lost a special jewel,” wrote Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba on the social media platform X. Kiptum was only 24 years old.
In October he set a new world record at the Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:00:35.
In doing so, he beat his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge’s record of 2:01:09 from 2022 in Berlin. Kiptum was behind the wheel of the car that left the road around 11 p.m. local time in Kaptaget in Kenya’s southwestern highlands – a region where many Kenyan long-distance runners train.
Woman was seriously injured
According to the reports, Kiptum’s Rwandan trainer Garvais Hakizimana and a companion were also sitting in the vehicle. Hakizimana also died in the accident, and the woman was seriously injured, according to police. There were no other vehicles involved. According to initial investigations, Kiptum lost control of the vehicle, went off the road and collided with a tree before the car ended up in a ditch 60 meters away, the Daily Nation newspaper quoted the responsible police representative Peter Mulinge as saying.
World Athletics Federation President Sebastian Coe said he was “shocked and deeply sad.” “An incredible athlete leaves an incredible legacy, we will miss him very much,” wrote the Brit (67) on X.
Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba wrote on X: “Kenya has lost a special jewel.” Two-time 800 meter Olympic champion David Rudisha said he was “shocked” by his compatriot’s death.
Kiptum won the Chicago Marathon a good four months ago in a world record time of 2:00:35 hours. He improved Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record by 34 seconds and became the first person to run an official marathon under 2:01:00 hours. Kiptum had only completed his third marathon. According to the world association, he started running at the age of 13.
In Valencia in December 2022, Kiptum achieved an unofficial debut world record of 2:01:53 hours, then he sensationally won the London Marathon in 2:01:25 hours. The miracle runner immediately announced that he wanted to challenge the world record. He achieved this on October 8th in Chicago.