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Shock as Kelvin Kiptum and Coach Die in Car Crash

BY: The Running Channel
12 February 2024

The marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, and his coach Gervais Hakizimana, died in a car accident in Kenya on Sunday 11 February 2024.

The Kenyan runner, aged 24, set the world alight when he broke the marathon world record in Chicago in October 2023 in a time of 2:00:35. He took the marathon to within seconds of breaking the two hour barrier. 

According to Nation.Africa, Kiptum was driving a Toyota Premio with two passengers on board, his coach, the Rwandan Gervais Hakizimana, and a lady identified as Sharon Kosgey, who was seriously injured. Kiptum was the father of two young children.

A post by Kenya’s former Prime Minister Raila Odinga read: “Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight.” 

Adding “My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.”

Kiptum had an extraordinary ascent to marathon success. His first marathon was in Valencia in 2022, which Kiptum won in 2:01:53, the fastest ever debut marathon, and the fourth fastest marathon of all time. The following year he won the London marathon in 2:01:25, breaking the course record by more than one minute. He set his awe-inspiring world record in only his third marathon, in Chicago 2023.

Just last week his team announced that he would be targeting sub-two hours at the Rotterdam Marathon, and it appeared that Kelvin’s running story was only just beginning.

Running greats have taken to social media to share their shock and sadness. 

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a post on X: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

“On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.”

Eliud Kipchoge, the great Kenyan marathon runner, posted “Rest in peace Kelvin” on his Instagram. “I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the Marathon World record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum. An athlete who had a whole life ahead of him to achieve incredible greatness. I offer my deepest condolences to his young family. May God comfort you during this trying time.”

Kelvin Kiptum inspired so many of us at The Running Channel. We share in the sadness that is being felt around the running world, and we send our condolences to his family, friends and Kenyan running. 

Image credit: Katie Chan (Creative Commons)

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