Kenyan Marathon World Record Holder, Kelvin Kiptum, tragically passed away in a car accident on Sunday. The 24-year-old athlete, who shattered the world marathon record in Chicago last year, was driving on the Eldoret-Kaptagat road in western Kenya when the accident occurred. Kiptum’s coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also lost his life in the tragic incident.
The news of Kiptum’s death shocked the international track community, with World Athletics expressing their deep sadness and sending condolences to the families and friends of both Kiptum and Hakizimana. Sebastian Coe, the President of World Athletics, described Kiptum as an incredible athlete who leaves behind an incredible legacy.
Kiptum’s record-breaking achievement came at the age of 23 when he became the first man to finish a marathon in under 2:01. In the Chicago Marathon last October, he completed the race with a time of 2:00:35, surpassing the previous record held by Eliud Kipchoge. World Athletics recently ratified Kiptum’s record, solidifying his place in history.
The tragic accident has left the Kenyan nation mourning the loss of a true hero. Former Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his condolences and pay tribute to Kiptum. Odinga described him as a remarkable individual and an icon of Kenyan athletics.
The impact of Kiptum’s accomplishments resonates not only within the athletics community but also with his fellow athletes. Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos revealed that she and a group of athletes rushed to the hospital in Eldoret upon hearing about the accident. Kiptum’s family members were also present at the hospital to identify his body.
The loss of Kelvin Kiptum is not only a personal tragedy for his loved ones but also a significant loss for the entire nation. His extraordinary talent and dedication to his sport made him a role model for aspiring athletes in Kenya and beyond. The void left by his untimely death will be deeply felt by all who admired and supported him.
As the world mourns the loss of Kelvin Kiptum, his memory will live on through his remarkable achievements and the inspiration he provided to countless individuals. The tragic accident serves as a reminder of the fragile nature of life and the importance of cherishing every moment. Kelvin Kiptum’s legacy will forever be etched in the annals of marathon history, and he will be dearly missed.