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World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum dies in accident in Kenya

Kelvin Kiptum with the trophy after winning the Men’s elite race during the TCS London Marathon in 2023 (John Walton/PA)
Kelvin Kiptum with the trophy after winning the Men’s elite race during the TCS London Marathon in 2023 (John Walton/PA)

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach have died in an accident in Kenya, it has been announced.

Kenyan member of parliament Gideon Kimaiyo confirmed the pair’s death in a statement on X.

Mr Kimaiyo said: “It is with heavy hearts that we learn of the passing of Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, and his coach in a tragic accident along the Eldoret-Kaptagat road.

“Kelvin Kiptum was at the prime of his career, a legend in his own right. It’s a tough one to take.

“Our thoughts are with their families during this incredibly difficult time.

“The people of Keiyo South are saddened by this loss. May their souls rest in eternal peace.”

Kiptum, 24, set a new world record of two hours and 35 seconds at the Chicago Marathon in October last year.

He also won the London Marathon in 2023 with a record time of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds.

The organisers of the London Marathon said on X: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the terrible news of the death of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

“The thoughts of everyone at the TCS London Marathon are with Kelvin’s and Gervais’ family and friends.”

World Athletics president Seb Coe said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

“On behalf of all at World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, team-mates 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.”

At the 2022 Valencia Marathon, Kiptum set the record for the fastest debut marathon in history, crossing the line in a course record of two hours, one minute and 53 seconds.

He was due to compete at the Rotterdam Marathon in April, which would have been his first event since setting the world record.