Marathon world record holder dies at 24

 February 12, 2024

Kelvin Kiptum, the holder of the world record for marathon races, has died at the age of 24. 

The news of Kiptum's passing has been announced by World Athletics, the international track federation.

The announcement indicates that Kiptum died in a car accident.

His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, was in the car with Kiptum at the time of the crash, and he has also died.

What happened?

The car accident that claimed Kiptum's life took place on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2024, in Kenya.

Details about the crash have been reported by ESPN.

The outlet reports:

Kiptum and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana, were killed in the crash at around 11 p.m., police said. It happened near the town of Kapsabet in western Kenya, in the heart of the high-altitude region that's renowned as a training base for the best distance runners from Kenya and across the world.

ESPN goes on to report that Kiptum's "vehicle was the only one involved in the crash." The vehicle is reported to have "veered off a road and into a ditch before hitting a tree." Witnesses say that Kiptum was thrown from the vehicle.

Reports indicate that a third person was also in the car. The unidentified 24-year-old woman is reported to have been taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Kiptum's records

Kiptum's passing comes just a few months after he set the marathon record. The Hill reports, "Kiptum set his blazing 2:00:35 record time at the Chicago Marathon in October. He was the first person to ever finish a record-eligible marathon under 2 hours and one minute."

ABC News describes Kiptum as someone "who was set to be a superstar of long-distance running and was a top contender for gold at the Olympics in Paris this year." The outlet goes on to add that Kiptum is "one of the most exciting prospects to emerge in road running in years."

A statement on Kiptum's passing has been released by Seb Coe, the president of World Athletics.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana. On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the Kenyan nation," Coe wrote.

He added, "It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon World Record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time. An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly."

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