World Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum is dead. Kiptum died on Sunday night after he was involved in a road accident along the Eldoret- Kaptagat highway.
His coach Gervais Hakizimana who was in the same vehicle with him also died in the accident. The deaths were confirmed by traffic base commandant Dennis Muga. Their bodies were reportedly moved to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.
According to World Athletics, Kiptum broke the world marathon record when he scored a time of 2:00:35 to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on 8 October, 2023.
“It was in Valencia December 2022 that Kiptum’s marathon journey began. There, the Kenyan distance running star – who turned 23 two days before that race – ran 2:01:53 for the fastest ever marathon debut and a mark that placed him third on the world all-time list behind only his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele,” the World Athletics states.
He was set to attempt to run a sub 2 hour marathon time during the upcoming Rotterdam Marathon on April 14.
“Currently my days consist of eating, sleeping, training, and repeating. My preparation is my main focus at the moment. I want to be the best version of myself when I start in Rotterdam,” he had said in a previous interview in January 2024.
He had also been named in the Kenyan marathon team alongside Eliud Kipchoge that will participate in this year’s Olympic Games.
Following Kelvin Kiptum’s death, Kenyans have come out to share their grief.
“Rest in Peace Kelvin Kiptum, really really devastated. I have not felt this bad in a very very long time. A young man with a bright future ahead gone too soon. It has brought back memories of Sammy Wanjiru and Nicholas Bett whose lives also ended tragically at the peak of their careers,”said Levin Opiyo.
“It is shocking beyond words, this young man had a whole life ahead of him and a great talent. This is beyond sad!” Greyson Mwenda said.
“Am still in disbelief, condolences to family and friends,” Mutio Esther said.