NAIROBI: World marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a car accident in western Kenya on Sunday.
Tributes have been paid to the record holder, after his shocking death.
According to the police, the 24-year-old, player who won the London Marathon in April before setting the world record in Chicago in October, had lost control of his car while driving in Kaptagat, south-west Kenya, at 11pm local time.
His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also died in the road accident, while a third person is said to have been taken to hospital.
Kenya’s prime minister, Raila Odinga, in a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter said: Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, world record holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.
Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/1Dmgyyhsk4
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) February 11, 2024
Kenya’s minister for sports, Ababu Namwamba, also added on X that he is devastated on the news as Kenya has lost a special gem.
The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, said he was shocked deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kiptum and Hakizimana.
Local county commander Peter Mulinge told the local media that Kiptum had lost control of his car and hit a tree before landing in a ditch.
Mulinge added went on to say that it was a self-involved accident where Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, was driving his car with two persons.