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Kelvin Kiptum: Marathon world-record holder Kelvin Kiptum, 24, dies in car c...

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Published Time: 12.02.2024 - 03:19:11 Modified Time: 12.02.2024 - 03:19:11

Chemos said she went to the hospital with other athletes and members of Kiptum's family after hearing the news. The family members, which included Kiptum's father, were there to identify his body. Kelvin Kiptum


Kiptum, who was Kenyan, and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed in the crash at around 11 p.m. Another Kenyan athlete, Milcah Chemos, confirmed their deaths to The . She was at the hospital mortuary where the bodies were taken and had seen Kiptum's body, she said.

She struggled to speak while breaking down in tears.

"I have no words to explain the loss of Kelvin," she said.

The crash happened on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, Chemos said, in the heart of the high-altitude region that's renowned as a training base for top distance runners from Kenya and across the world. Kiptum was born and raised in the area.

Chemos said she went to the hospital with other athletes and members of Kiptum's family after hearing the news. The family members, which included Kiptum's father, were there to identify his body.

Kenneth Kimaiyo, a friend of Kiptum, said he arrived at the crash scene soon after it happened and Kiptum had been thrown out of the car. It appeared the car had veered off the road at high speed and collided with a tree before rolling, Kimaiyo said.

A third person, a woman, was also in the car and had been taken to the hospital with serious injuries, he said.

Photos from the scene showed the silver car with a badly mangled roof and one of the doors flung open.

Kelvin Kiptum celebrates after winning the 2023 Chicago Marathon and setting a world record time of 2:00.35 last October. Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Kenyan track federation said it was saddened to announce the deaths of Kiptum and Hakizimana.

Kiptum was the first man to run the marathon in under 2 hours, 1 minute in an official race when he set the world record of 2:00.35 in Chicago in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan and marathon great Eliud Kipchoge. He set the record in just his third top-level marathon.

Kiptum was due to compete at the Rotterdam Marathon in April, which would have been his first event since breaking the world record.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe was one of the first to offer his condolences in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

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

"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," Coe wrote.

David Rudisha, Kenya's two-time Olympic champion in the 800 meters, wrote on X that Kiptum's death was "a huge loss."

David Lelei, an All-Africa Games silver medalist, died in a car crash in 2010. Marathon runner Francis Kiplagat was among five who were killed in a crash in 2018. Nicholas Bett, who won gold in the 400 meters hurdles at the 2015 world championships, also died in a car crash in 2018.

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