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World of Sport

12th Feb 2024

Athletics world in mourning following the death of world marathon record-holder Kelvin Kiptum


Kiptum won the London Marathon last year

World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died after being involved in a car crash in Kenya.

Kiptum, 24, won the London Marathon last April before setting the world record in Chicago in October was reported to have lost control of his vehicle when driving in Kaptagat, south-west Kenya, at 11pm local time.

His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also died in the crash. A third person is believed to have been rushed to hospital.

Tributes pour in for ‘special gem’

Former Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga posted on X: “Devastatingly sickening! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.”

President of the World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, also said he was “shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kiptum and Hakizimana.

“An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly,” Coe added.

Police county commander Peter Mulinge told a Kenyan newspaper that Kiptum had lost control of the vehicle before crashing into a tree and landing in a ditch.

He said: “This was a self-involved accident where one Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, was driving his vehicle with two passenger.

“Kiptum and Hakizimana died on the spot and the third person was rushed to Racecourse hospital in Eldoret.”

Kelvin Kiptum

His tragic death comes only a week after Kiptum’s world record of 2hr 0min 35sec, which took 34sec off Eliud Kipchoge’s old mark, was officially ratified by World Athletics.

The world record holder had also recently announced plans to try and become the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam in April.