Kelvin Kiptum, current marathon world record holder, and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a road accident outside the Rift Valley town of Eldoret, Kenyan police confirmed. The 24-year-old Kenyan athlete was driving a Toyota Premio and died at the scene of the crash, along with his coach. A third occupant in the vehicle survived with serious injuries, according to Elgeyo Marakwet County Police Commander Peter Mulinge. The accident occurred around 11 p.m. local time.
Kiptum’s marathon time of 2:00:35 set in the Chicago Marathon was ratified just days before the accident by World Athletics. He had only switched to running the marathon from shorter distance races a year before setting that record pace.
Kiptum improved his personal best time by 50 seconds to beat the 2:01:09 record set by fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. Kiptum was widely believed to be the successor to Kipchoge, and a possible contender to run the marathon in under 2 hours. Hakizimana, 36, was a former professional athlete from Rwanda who participated in different races from the 5,000 meter to the half marathon.
This is a developing story and will be updated.