Wednesday, February 21

Kelvin Kiptum, Marathon World Record Holder, Dies In Road Accident

Written by Samrat Chakraborty

Marathon World Record holder Kelvin Kiptum died in a road accident on Sunday at the age of 24. His coach Gervais Hakizimana, who was in the car with the Kenyan distance runner, also died in an accident that took place at the Eldoret-Kaptagat Road.

Kiptum was an inspirational figure in world athletics and has risen in stature in recent years. He made headlines during his marathon debut in December 2022, clocking 2:01:53 to win in Valencia. In less than a year, he set the new world record with 2:00:35 to win in Chicago.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

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

“It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon world record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time.

“An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly.”

The record-breaking performance along with his victory at the London Marathon in a course record of 2:01:25, led him to be named the 2023 World Athlete of the Year for men’s out-of-stadia events.

The Kenyan was born in Chepsamo village in Chepkorio. He spent his youth working on his family’s cattle farm while he started running at 13, following local marathon runners on trails and roads. He started running half marathons in 2018 by entering the Eldoret Half Marathon and won it five years later at the age of 18.

He made his international debut as a teenager at 19, clocking 59:54 to finish fifth at the Lisbon Half Marathon. Kelvin displayed his brilliance in the long distance running which was notable at the 2022 Valencia Marathon.

Kelvin did not participate in any event since the Chicago Marathon last year but he was awaited to run at the Rotterdam Marathon in April, which will now be an event that recalls his legacy.