Kelvin Kiptum: Kenyan marathon world record holder dies in road accident

Kelvin Kiptum, Kenyan men’s marathon world record holder, was killed alongside his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, in a car on a road in western Kenya on Sunday. Kiptum made a breakthrough in 2023 as a rival to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge – one of the greatest marathon runners. Kiptum bettered Kipchoge’s record, clocking the 26.2 miles (42km) in two hours and 35 seconds in Chicago last October.

Additionally, the two athletes had been named in Kenya’s provisional marathon team for the Paris Olympics later this year. Kipchoge said on X that the man who broke his record was a rising star who had “a whole life” ahead of him to achieve “incredible greatness”, offering condolences to his family.

Also, paying tribute is Kenya’s President William Ruto, who described Kelvin Kiptum as an extraordinary sportsman who had left a mark on the world.

Kenyan president giving a speech

William Ruto remembering Kelvin Kiptum

Kiptum would have had ‘incredible career’ – Farah

How Kiptum went from borrowed shoes to world records

Details about Kelvin Kiptum accident

Specifically, the road accident happened at about 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Sunday. Giving details of the crash, police said Kiptum was driving and had “lost control [of the vehicle] and veered off-road entering into a ditch on his left side”.”He drove in the ditch for about 60 metres before hitting a big tree,” a police statement said.

Consequently, Kiptum and Hakizimana died at the site of a collision. A third person – a young woman – was seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment.

Just last week, Kiptum’s team announced that he would attempt to run the marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam in April – a feat that has never been achieved in open competition.

The rise to fame for the father-of-two had been rapid – he only competed in his first full marathon in 2022.


Catalina A and Maria C

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