Kenyan marathon prodigy Kelvin Kiptum, who recently set a world record at the Chicago Marathon, and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana, were tragically killed in a car accident in Kenya. The incident occurred late Sunday on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat, a key training area for distance runners. Milcah Chemos, another Kenyan athlete, confirmed the deaths, having seen Kiptum’s body at the hospital mortuary.
Kiptum, aged 24, had broken the marathon world record with a time of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, surpassing the previous record held by fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. This achievement had just been ratified by World Athletics last week. Kiptum was scheduled to compete in the Rotterdam Marathon in April, marking his first race since the record-setting performance.
The loss of Kiptum and Hakizimana has prompted an outpouring of condolences from the athletics community, including World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and two-time Olympic champion David Rudisha. Kiptum’s untimely death not only ends a promising career but also adds to the list of top Kenyan runners who have perished in road accidents, highlighting the ongoing issue of road safety for the country’s athletes.
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