Kenyan police have confirmed that Kelvin Kiptum, the current world record holder in the marathon, along with his coach Gervais Hakizimana, tragically lost their lives in a road accident on Sunday night near Eldoret in the Rift Valley.
According to Elgeyo Marakwet County Police Commander Peter Mulinge, the 24-year-old Kiptum, who was behind the wheel of a Toyota Premio, and his coach were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. A third person in the vehicle sustained severe injuries.
Kiptum made headlines with his remarkable marathon time of 2:00:35, achieved during the Chicago Marathon last October. His record was recently ratified by World Athletics. Remarkably, Kiptum had transitioned to marathon running just a year before setting this record pace.
Surpassing Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record by 50 seconds, Kiptum established himself as a formidable force in the sport. Many saw him as a potential successor to Kipchoge and speculated on his ability to break the elusive two-hour barrier in the marathon.
Hakizimana, aged 36, hailed from Rwanda and had a background as a professional athlete. He competed in various races ranging from the 5,000 meters to the half marathon distance.