In western Kenya, tragedy struck the athletics community on Sunday as record-breaking marathon runner Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana lost their lives in a car accident on the Eldoret-Kaptagat road. Kiptum, who hailed from the area, made headlines last year when he became the first man to run a marathon in under 2:01, finishing the Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:00:35 and breaking the record held by Eliud Kipchoge.
The news of the accident brought a group of athletes, including Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos, to the hospital in Eldoret where they went to identify Kiptum’s body. His family members were also present during this difficult time. The tragic loss was felt not only by Kiptum’s loved ones but also by the entire athletics community.
Former Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga expressed his condolences and described Kiptum as a “remarkable individual” and a “Kenyan athletics icon”. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe also sent his deepest condolences to the families, friends, and teammates of Kiptum and his coach.
Kiptum’s legacy as an incredible athlete and record-breaker will be greatly missed, and his death marks a profound loss for the athletics community in Kenya and beyond. His achievement will continue to inspire future generations of athletes striving to reach new heights in their careers.