Kelvin Kiptum, World Record Holder in Marathon, Dies at 24

He and his coach were in a car accident in Kenya, according to news reports

2023 chicago marathon
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Kelvin Kiptum, who set a stunning world record in the marathon last October in Chicago, running 2:00:35, died in a car accident on February 11 in Kenya, according to the Daily Standard. He was 24.

His coach, Gervais Hakizimana of Rwanda, 36, also died in the accident, according to reports.

Kiptum was only 23 when he smashed the previous marathon record, held by Eliud Kipchoge. He averaged 2:50 per kilometre for the distance, and he negative split the race, running 1:00:48 for the first half and 59:47 for the second.

World Athletics ratified Kiptum’s record on February 6. Sebastien Coe, the president of World Athletics, wrote on the social media platform 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.”

Kiptum seemed made for the marathon: He won his first marathon, in 2022 in Valencia, Spain, in 2:01:53. He then won the 2022 London Marathon in 2:01:25, coming within 16 seconds of Kipchoge’s record, before his Chicago performance.

He had already announced plans to attempt to break the 2-hour barrier at the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2024.

Hakizimana told Agence France Presse in October that Kiptum sometimes trained up to 300 kilometers, or more than 290 kilometres, per week.

According to The Nation, Kiptum was at the wheel of a Toyota Premio, and he lost control of the vehicle. He and his coach died at the scene, and a third passenger was transported to the hospital.

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