Kenyan marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach died in a road accident in the Rift Valley on Sunday, cutting short the career of the only man to run the endurance classic in just under two hours and one minute.
The 24-year-old set a world record at the Chicago Marathon in October with a time of 2 hours and 35 seconds, surpassing the mark of 2 hours. 01 min 09 s achieved by compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin in 2022.
Kiptum, who has recorded three of the seven fastest marathon times in history, had hoped to become the first man to run the Rotterdam Marathon in April in less than two hours and also make his Olympic debut in Paris in July.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” World Athletics Federation president Sebastian Coe said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire World Athletics team, we send our sincere condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan people.”
“An incredible athlete who left an incredible legacy, he will be greatly missed.”
According to a police report, Kiptum was traveling with a Rwandan bus and a woman in the car near the Rift Valley village where he was born when the accident occurred.