Celebs mourn athletics icon Kelvin Kiptum and coach Gervais Hakizimana
The nation is reeling from the devastating news of the untimely demise of Kelvin Kiptum, the 24-year-old world marathon record holder, and his coach Gervais Hakizimana, who tragically perished in a road accident along the Elgeyo Marakwet-Ravine road in the Kaptagat area.
The accident, which occurred on Sunday, February 11, at 11 pm, claimed the lives of both athletes, leaving a void in the hearts of many.
According to Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Peter Mulinge, the Toyota Premio driven by Kiptum was carrying his coach Hakizimana and a third occupant identified as Sharon Kosgey.
Kiptum and Hakizimana succumbed to their injuries at the scene, while Kosgey sustained serious injuries.
President William Ruto led Kenyans in mourning the tragic death of Athletee Kelvin Kiptum.
The Head of State eulogized Kiptum as a star, noting that an extraordinary sportsman who has left an extraordinary mark on the globe.
“Kelvin Kiptum was arguably one of the world’s finest sportsmen who broke barriers to secure a marathon record,” he said.
“An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark on the globe. Our thoughts are with the family and the sporting fraternity. Rest In Peace.”
Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Sam Nyamweya Pays Tribute to Kelvin Kiptum and Coach Gervais Hakizimana.
“It is devastating news to hear about the passing of World Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Burundian coach Gervais Hakizimana, in a tragic road accident on Sunday.
On behalf of my family and the football fraternity, I extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the Kenyan nation at large.
The 24-year-old Kiptum, whose world marathon record of 2:00:35 was ratified just five days ago by World Athletics, was an incredible athlete who leaves behind an extraordinary legacy.
We will miss him dearly. Kiptum emerged as a rival to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge, one of the greatest marathon runners, in 2023.
It was in Chicago last October that Kiptum surpassed Kipchoge’s achievement, clocking 26.1 miles (42km) in two hours and 35 seconds.
As a nation, we have lost a gem, a true hero, and I am at a loss for words. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
World 800m record holder David Rudisha expressed his shock and deep sadness at the passing of Kelvin Kiptum and coach Gervais Hakizimana.
Extending his condolences to their families, friends, the athletic fraternity, and Kenya at large, Rudisha described it as a significant loss.
“My condolences to the families, friends, athletic fraternity and Kenya at large. This is a huge loss.”
Comedian Njugush lamented the passing of Kelvin Kiptum, noting that his future potential was tragically cut short, emphasizing that “we are all travellers” in life.
Sports journalist Carol Radul mourned the loss of Kelvin Kiptum, highlighting his recent world record and his pursuit of breaking the two-hour marathon barrier.
“World Marathon Record holder @kelvinkiptumcheruiyot has passed away in a road accident. Kiptum’s world record was only just ratified last week, and he was on course to become the first athlete to run a sub 2 in competition. He was 24 years old. This is devastating. May he rest in peace.
Musician KRG The Don paid his respects to Kelvin Kiptum, describing him as an icon and acknowledging the profound impact of his loss on the world.
At only 24 years old, Kelvin Kiptum had already etched his name in the annals of marathon history.
His remarkable journey began in 2018 when he won the Eldoret Half Marathon with a record time of 1:02:01.
From there, he embarked on an international career, setting personal bests and breaking records along the way.
Kiptum’s crowning achievement came in December 2023 when he shattered the world marathon record, becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2:01:00.
Kiptum’s legacy extends beyond his record-breaking performances; he inspired countless individuals with his dedication and passion for the sport.
His sudden departure leaves a void in the athletic community, reminding us of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.
May their souls rest in peace!