The world is mourning the loss of marathon legend Kelvin Kiptum, 24years old, and his coach Gervais Hakizimana, who were both tragically killed in a car accident in western Kenya according to trusted sources.
Kiptum, who secured his place in history as the men's marathon world record holder, had emerged as a formidable competitor to the legendary Eliud Kipchoge in 2023. The pinnacle of his achievements came last October in Chicago, where he outpaced Kipchoge, completing the 26.1 miles in a staggering two hours and 35 seconds. This triumph had earned Kiptum a spot on Kenya's provisional marathon team for the upcoming Paris Olympics.
The shocking incident unfolded at approximately 23:00 local time on Sunday, as the vehicle, with Kiptum behind the wheel, lost control and rolled, claiming the lives of both the record-breaking athlete and his esteemed coach.
Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba expressed his grief, stating, "Devastatingly sickening!! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words." Opposition leader Raila Odinga added his voice, declaring the nation had lost "a true hero" and was mourning the passing of "a remarkable individual and Kenyan athletics icon."
International condolences poured in, with Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, noting that Kiptum had left behind an "incredible legacy" and would be dearly missed by the global sports community.
In a somber update, local authorities revealed that a third passenger, a female, survived the accident but sustained injuries and was promptly rushed to the hospital.
The untimely demise of Kelvin Kiptum and Gervais Hakizimana leaves an indelible void in the world of athletics.