July 23, 2024

Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who was set to be a superstar of long-distance running, was killed along with his coach in a car crash in Kenya late Sunday.

Kiptum was 24 and had the world record he set last year at the Chicago Marathon ratified by international track federation World Athletics just last week.

He was one of the most exciting prospects to emerge in road running in years, World Athletics said.

Kiptum, who was Kenyan, and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed in the crash at around 11 p.m. Another Kenyan athlete, Milcah Chemos, confirmed their deaths to The Associated Press. She was at the hospital mortuary where the bodies were taken and had seen Kiptum’s body, she said.

She struggled to speak while breaking down in tears.

“I have no words to explain the loss of Kelvin,” she said.

The crash happened on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, Chemos said, in the heart of the high-altitude region that’s renowned as a training base for top distance runners from Kenya and across the world. Kiptum was born and raised in the area.

Chemos said she went to the hospital with other athletes and members of Kiptum’s family after hearing the news. The family members, which included Kiptum’s father, were there to identify his body.How To Become A Track And Field Coach - JobsInSports.com

Denis Muga, the area police chief for Kaptagat, said Kiptum was driving and it was the only car involved in the crash.

Kenneth Kimaiyo, a friend of Kiptum, said he arrived at the crash scene soon after it happened and Kiptum had been thrown out of the car. It appeared the car had veered off the road at high speed and collided with a tree before rolling, Kimaiyo said.

A third person, a woman, was also in the car and had been taken to the hospital with serious injuries, he said.

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