Mourners gather to pay respects to marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, 24, who tragically died in car crash in Kenya
Mourners have gathered to pay tribute to marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum where the Kenyan star was tragically killed in a car crash on Sunday.
The runner died on Sunday at the age of 24 in his native Kenya, with his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana (37), who also died in the road accident near Kaptagat.
The area in southwest Kenya is known as a training base for distance runners.
Members of the public visited the scene of the accident on Monday to pay tribute to the late star.
Fellow Kenyan long-distance stars are also pictured after viewing Kiptum’s body at Renbaan Mortuary in the Slenk Valley town of Eldoret.
Mourners gathered at the scene of the car crash that killed marathon star Kelvin Kiptum
Fellow runners and members of the public were somber after viewing Kiptum’s body
Double Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon was pictured in tears at the racecourse mortuary
One woman was seen being carried away after viewing Kiptum’s body at the morgue
Mourners gathered to pay their respects to Kiptum following his death on Sunday
The world record holder and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in the car accident
Kiptum and Hakizimana died after the marathon runner’s car crashed into a tree
Faith Kipyegon, a double Olympic champion in the women’s 1,500m, was pictured in tears after viewing Kiptum’s body.
In the photo, one woman is being carried away from the morgue.
Details of the accident were released on Monday, with a female passenger, Sharon Chepkemoi (32), who survived the incident after being taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
According to Kenneth Kimaiyo – one of the first responders at the scene of the accident – via NationKiptum’s body was found under the vehicle with the runner already dead, and Hakizimana still alive on a hill.
The newspaper adds that Kiptum, who was a father of two and the son of a runner and volleyball player, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a large tree at the Kaptagat area along the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret .
Kiptum was on his way back from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County.
Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei 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 have been taken to the hospital for an autopsy which will begin after the families have been informed and ‘all arrangements have been made’.
Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died after hitting a tree on Sunday
Kiptum is said to have lost control of his vehicle at Kaptagat area along the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret on his way back from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County
Both Kiptum and Hakizimana died at the scene, with the former ‘lying under his car with his seatbelt torn’
He added that the accident happened at 20:00 GMT on Sunday, 23:00 local time, and that the vehicle was “extensively damaged” and was towed to a local police station for “inspection and further police action”.
Kiptum made history in October when he clocked 2:00.35 to win the Chicago Marathon, smashing fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by 34 seconds. His landmark time was only officially validated by World Athletics last Tuesday.
World athletics president Seb Coe led the tributes to Kiptum on Sunday night, saying he was “an incredible athlete who leaves an incredible legacy”.
He wrote on X: ‘We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear 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 wasn’t until earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon world record, that I was able to officially validate his historic time.
“An incredible athlete who leaves an incredible legacy, we will miss him greatly.”
Kiptum also won his first London Marathon last April in a course record of 2:01.25, which was then the second fastest ever marathon time. This followed an eye-catching victory on his marathon debut in Valencia in December 2022.
Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died aged 24
Kiptum (L) and his coach Gervais Hakizimana (R) died in a road accident in Kenya’s Kaptagat area at 11pm local time
Kiptum made history last October when he clocked 2:00.35 to win the Chicago Marathon
World Athletics President Seb Coe paid tribute to Kiptum and Hakizimana on Sunday night
Kiptum would have been the favorite to win gold at this summer’s Paris Olympics in what would be an all-out showdown against teammate Kipchoge, the 39-year-old two-time defending champion.
Kipchonge took to X to express his sadness at the news. A post, with the words ‘Rest in Peace Kelvin’, read: ‘Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Marathon World Record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum.
“An athlete who had a whole life ahead of him to achieve incredible greatness.
‘My deepest condolences to his young family. May God comfort you in this difficult time.’
Raila Odinga, Kenya’s prime minister from 2008 to 2013, wrote on X: ‘Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record Holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his trainer, they tragically died in an accident tonight.
‘My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation mourns the profound loss of a true hero.’
Kenya’s minister for sports, Ababu Namwamba, wrote: ‘Devastatingly sick! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.’
London Marathon director Hugh Brasher wrote: ‘Kelvin had the sport of marathon running in his feet and on his feet. He was a “once in a generation” athlete intent on redefining the boundaries of our sport.
The 24-year-old would have been the favorite to win gold at this summer’s Paris Olympics
‘Three marathons, three victories. The fastest marathon debutant in Valencia, London’s course record holder and the world record holder in Chicago, all in the space of less than 12 months. His was a flame that burned so brightly and was tragically extinguished last night.
‘As a sport we mourn a life cut so tragically short, a talent and a work ethic we were only beginning to appreciate and a man we were only just beginning to know.
‘Our thoughts are with his family and friends and those of his trainer Gervais.
“We hope that Sharon Chepkurui Kosgei, who traveled with them, makes a full and speedy recovery.”