Kenyan Marathon Star Kiptum Dies in Car Crash


Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, the men’s marathon world record holder, has died in a car crash along with his coach Gervais Hakizimana, according to local media reports. 

The accident occurred on Sunday night near Eldoret, where Kiptum had been training for his next race.

Kiptum, 24, was one of the most promising long-distance runners in the world, having broken the marathon world record in Chicago last October with a time of 2:00:35, beating the previous mark of 2:01:09 set by his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin in 2022. 

He also won the London Marathon in 2023 with the second-fastest time in history, 2:01:25.

Kiptum had announced last week that he would attempt to run the marathon in under two hours at the Rotterdam Marathon in April, a feat that has never been achieved in open competition. 

He was confident that he could make history, saying: “I believe I can do it. I have trained well and I have the right mentality.”

Kiptum’s rise to fame was remarkable, considering that he ran his first full marathon in 2022. 

He started his career on the road, unlike many Kenyan athletes who began on the track. He said that he chose this path because he had no money to travel to track sessions. He also revealed that he ran his first major race in 2020 in borrowed shoes, as he could not afford his own pair.

Kiptum’s death has shocked the athletics world, with many tributes pouring in from fellow runners, fans, and officials. 

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Kenya’s minister for sports Ababu Namwamba expressed his grief on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter: “Devastatingly sickening!! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.”

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) also issued a statement, saying: “We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana. They were both talented and passionate individuals who contributed greatly to the sport of athletics. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends, and the entire Kenyan athletics community at this difficult time.”