Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world record holder from Kenya, tragically died in a car accident on Sunday, according to the international sports governing organization World Athletics. He was only 24 years old. Kiptum was traveling in a car not far from his childhood village of Chepsamo in western Kenya when the accident occurred, along with his coach, Gervais Hakizimana. Local media reported that Kiptum was driving when he lost control of the car and veered off the road. A third passenger in the vehicle sustained serious injuries.
Kiptum rose to prominence in October when he won the Chicago marathon in a time of 2 hours and 35 seconds, becoming the first man to run an official race in under 2 hours and 1 minute. He had never even run a marathon race just a year prior. His unexpected victory in Chicago made international headlines and cemented his place in the athletic world.
The tragic deaths of Kiptum and his coach have deeply affected the running community in Kenya, with prominent figures like David Rudisha and Raila Odinga expressing their shock and sadness. Kiptum had been aiming to run the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon in the Netherlands and compete in the Paris Olympics this summer, showcasing his ambition and dedication to the sport.
His sudden death came as a profound loss to the nation and especially to the world of athletics. Kiptum was celebrated as a remarkable individual and a Kenyan Athletics icon, leaving a lasting legacy that will be remembered with great respect.