Tragic News: World Record Marathon Holder Kelvin Kiptum Dies in Car Accident at 24 in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya – The world was shocked on Sunday with the news of the tragic death of Kenya’s marathon world record holder, Kelvin Kiptum, in a fatal road accident in his home country. Kiptum, only 24 years old, perished alongside his coach, Gervais Hakizimana of Rwanda, in a car accident on a road in western Kenya.

Kiptum gained international recognition in 2023 when he emerged as a formidable challenger to Eliud Kipchoge, one of the greatest marathon runners. In October of that year, Kiptum made history by breaking Kipchoge’s world record, completing the 26.2 miles (42km) distance in just two hours and 35 seconds at the Chicago Marathon.

Both athletes had been named in Kenya’s provisional marathon team for the upcoming Paris Olympics, underscoring Kiptum’s promising future in the sport. Kipchoge, who had his world record surpassed by Kiptum, expressed his condolences and acknowledged Kiptum’s potential for achieving “incredible greatness.”

Kenyan President William Ruto also paid tribute to Kiptum, describing him as an “extraordinary sportsman” who had made a lasting impact on the world of marathon running.

The fatal road accident occurred late in the evening, resulting in the tragic deaths of Kiptum and Hakizimana at the scene of the collision. A third person, a young woman, sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Kiptum’s untimely demise has left the athletic community reeling, especially as he was on the cusp of attempting to run a marathon in under two hours – a feat yet to be accomplished in open competition. His rapid rise to fame, from competing in his first full marathon in 2022 to breaking world records in subsequent races, had captured the attention and admiration of both fans and fellow athletes.

Despite his meteoric success, Kiptum’s journey had humble beginnings. He entered his first major competition in 2018, running in borrowed shoes due to financial constraints. His unconventional path to stardom resonated with many as he symbolized a new generation of Kenyan athletes who paved their way in marathon running without traditional resources.

The tragic loss of Kiptum and his coach has not only devastated the world of athletics but has also left a community in mourning, reflecting on the extraordinary achievements and potential of the departed hero.