Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum, who holds the men's marathon world record, died in a car accident in his home country. He was 24yrs old. The accident took place in western Kenya on Sunday afternoon killing him and his coach, Rwanda's Gervais Hakizimana.
Kiptum emerged as a top marathon runner in 2023, challenging fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. He set a new world record in October in Chicago, completing the 26.2 miles in two hours and 35 seconds. Both athletes were named in Kenya's potential marathon team for the Paris Olympics.
The accident occurred around 23:00 local time on Sunday. It was reported by the police that Kiptum lost control of the vehicle, veered off-road, and crashed into a tree. Kiptum and Hakizimana died at the scene, while a young woman was seriously injured.
Last week, Kiptum's team announced his plan to attempt to run the marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam in April. He had quickly risen to fame, winning the Valencia Marathon and setting a course record at the London Marathon in 2023. In his final race in Chicago, he broke the world record by 34 seconds.
Kiptum started his career in 2018 and overcame financial challenges, running in borrowed shoes initially. The deceased represent a new generation of Kenyan athletes who began their careers in road racing rather than on the track.