World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum dies in car crash
NAIROBI – World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a traffic accident on Feb 11, Kenyan media reports said.
“The accident happened around 11pm (4am Singapore time, Feb 12). The car had three occupants, two died on the spot, while one was taken to hospital. The two are Kiptum and his coach,” said Peter Mulinge, police commander for Elgeyo Marakwet County in western Kenya.
He said the car was heading to Eldoret, a city in western Kenya famed for producing long-distance runners, when the accident occurred.
Kenya’s minister for sports Ababu Namwamba said on social media platform X, “Devastatingly sickening!! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.”
Kiptum, 24, set the world record at the Chicago Marathon in October with a time of 2hr 35sec to surpass the record of 2:01:09 set by his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin in 2022.
Kiptum smashed the London Marathon course record earlier last year and was determined to make magic again in Chicago as he sped up through the 35-km mark before thrusting his arms in the air to cheers from the crowd down the final stretch. – REUTERS, AFP