Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died after crashing his car into a “large” tree, it has been revealed.
The runner died on Sunday at the age of 24 in his native Kenya, while his coach, Rwandan Gervais Hakizimana, 37, also died in the traffic accident near Kaptagat, an area in the southwest of the country known as base of training. for distance runners.
The news has rocked the athletics world, with World Athletics president Seb Coe leading tributes to Kiptum on Sunday night, saying he was “an incredible athlete who leaves an incredible legacy.”
Details of the accident have now been revealed, and a passenger, Sharon Chepkemoi, 32, survived the incident after being taken to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
According to Kenneth Kimaiyo, one of the first responders at the crash site, via NationKiptum’s body was found under the vehicle with the runner already dead and Hakizimana still alive on a hill.
Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died after crashing into a tree on Sunday, it was revealed
Kiptum lost control of his vehicle in his native Kenya, with his coach Gervais Hakizimana (right) and a female passenger also in the car, and crashed into a tree 60 meters from the main road.
Kiptum made history last October when he clocked 2:00.35 to win the Chicago Marathon.
He said he saw a man on a motorcycle helping Chepkemoi at the scene, who was shouting for help and was taken to Sanvanis dispensary before being taken to MTRH.
“We tried to save the coach because he was still breathing, but he died immediately,” said Kimaiyo, who added that he had known Kiptum for a long time because he often visited his shop in Chepkorio.
“Kiptum was lying under the car with the seat belt broken and he was already dead,” he revealed.
Kiptum is said to have lost control of his vehicle in the Kaptagat area along the Eldama-Eldoret ravine while returning from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu county.
Both Kiptum and Hakizimana died at the scene, with the former “lying under the car with his seat belt torn.”
The newspaper adds that Kiptum lost control of his vehicle in the Kaptagat area along the Eldama-Eldoret ravine while returning from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu county.
Jackson Tuwei, president of Athletics Kenya, said the vehicle veered off the road into a ditch before hitting a large tree 60 meters from the main road.
He said the bodies were taken to hospital for an autopsy that will begin after the families have been informed and “all arrangements have been made.”
It added that the accident occurred at 20:00 GMT on Sunday, 23:00 local time, and that the vehicle suffered “serious damage” and was towed to a local police station for “inspection and further police measures.”
Meanwhile, Kenyan journalist Kipruto Lagat revealed photographs of the crash site on social media in the early hours of Monday morning.
Kenyan journalist Kipruto Lagat has posted on social media what he claims are photographs of the accident site.
Lagat shared two images of a tree and what appeared to be remains of a nearby vehicle.
The woman was said to be screaming for help and was taken to Sanvanis dispensary before being taken to MTRH.
Elgeyo Marakwet county police commander in western Kenya, Peter Mulinge, confirmed that the two men who died “on the spot” were Kiptum and Hakizimana. with Coe leading the tributes to the 24-year-old.
Coe wrote on X: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.
‘On behalf of all of World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the nation of Kenya.
‘It wasn’t until 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 who leaves an incredible legacy, he will be greatly missed.”
World Athletics president Seb Coe led tributes to the 24-year-old on social media.
Kiptum hoped to be the first man to break the two-hour barrier in a marathon in Rotterdam in April.
Kiptum made history in October when he clocked 2:00.35 to win the Chicago Marathon, breaking fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by 34 seconds. His historic time was not officially ratified by World Athletics until last Tuesday.
Kiptum also won his first London Marathon last April with a record time of 2:01.25, which was then the second-fastest marathon time in history. He arrived after a striking victory in his debut in the Valencia marathon in December 2022.
He would have been the favorite to win gold at this summer’s Olympics in Paris, in what was going to be a tremendous showdown against teammate Kipchoge, and was scheduled to run in the Rotterdam marathon in April, where he hoped to break the two-hour barrier for the first time in a record-eligible course.