World Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana have died in a road accident on Sunday at Kpatagat area of Western Kenya.
The accident occurred on Sunday, February 11, at 11pm, according to Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Peter Mulinge.
Kiptum, 23, was driving a Toyota Premio with two passengers on-board including his coach Hakizimana and a woman identified as Sharon Kosgey heading to Eldoret.
Sharon escaped with serious injuries and was rushed to Racecourse Hospital for medical attention while the bodies of the athlete and his coach were taken to the Racecourse hospital mortuary.
The vehicle was badly damaged and was towed to Kaptagat Police Station.
“This a self-involved accident where one Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, was driving his vehicle with two passengers. Kiptum and Hakzimana died on the spot and the third person was rushed to Racecourse Hospital in Eldoret,” said the County Commander.
According to Mulinge, Kiptum lost control of the vehicle veered off the road, and hit a big tree before landing in a ditch about 60 metres away.
Kiptum made a breakthrough in 2023 as a rival to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge – one of the greatest marathon runners.
And it was in Chicago last October that Kiptum bettered Kipchoge’s achievement, clocking the 26.1 miles (42km) in two hours and 35 seconds. His marathon record was ratified just last week by the World Athletics.
The 24-year-old was positioning himself to run under two hours at the Rotterdam Marathon which is due on April 14. He was also in the Kenyan provisional team picked for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.