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Details of the fatal accident of World Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum


World Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his Rwandese coach Garvais Hakizimana have died in a road accident at Kaptagat area along the Elgeyo Marakwet-Ravine road.

The accident occurred on Sunday at 11pm, according to Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Peter Mulinge.

A vehicle which World Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum,
A vehicle which World Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum, his Rwandese coach Garvais Hakizaman and another occupant were traveling in before they were involved in a road accident onon February 12, 2024. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

Kiptum was driving a Toyota Premio with two passengers on board- Garvais and a lady identified as Sharon Kosgey heading to Eldoret.

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Sharon escaped with serious injuries and was rushed to Racecourse Hospital for medical attention, while the bodies of the athlete and his coach were taken to the Racecourse Hospital mortuary.

The vehicle was badly damaged and was towed to Kaptagat Police Station.

“This was a self-involved accident where one Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, was driving his vehicle with two passengers. Kiptum and Hakizimana died on the spot and the third person was rushed to Racecourse Hospital in Eldoret,” said the County Commander.

The bodies of Kelvin Kiptum, his Rwandese coach Garvais Hakizaman were taken to the Racecourse Hospital mortuary.
The bodies of Kelvin Kiptum, his Rwandese coach Garvais Hakizaman were taken to the Racecourse Hospital mortuary. Photo|JARED NYATAYA

Kiptum, whose marathon record of two hours and 35 seconds was ratified just last week by the World Athletics, was positioning himself to run under two hours at the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14 this year.

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He was also in the Kenyan team picked for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

According to Mulinge, Kiptum lost control of the vehicle, veered off the road, hit a big tree before landing in a ditch about 60 metres away.

Men's athlete of the year 2023 in out of stadia category Kelvin Kiptum (KEN) poses for photos with his trophy during World Athletics awards ceremony on December 12, 2023 in Monaco.
Men’s athlete of the year 2023 in out of stadia category Kelvin Kiptum (KEN) poses for photos with his trophy during World Athletics awards ceremony on December 12, 2023 in Monaco.
Photo|POOL

President William Ruto has paid tribute to the champion saying, “Kelvin Kiptum was a star. Arguably one of the world’s finest sportsmen who broke barriers to secure a marathon record. He was only 24 yet, as a hero, triumphed in Valencia, Chicago, London and in other top competitions. His mental strength and discipline were unmatched. Kiptum was our future. An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark in the globe. Our thoughts are with the family and the sporting fraternity. Rest In Peace.”

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The World Athletics President Seb Coe, also wrote a moving tribute on the X platform.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

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.”