On Sunday, Kenyan marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a car crash in western Kenya. The crash happened on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat, in the heart of the high-altitude region that’s renowned as a training base for long distance runners. Milcah Chemos, a fellow athlete who went to the hospital to see Kiptum’s body, confirmed the news.
Kiptum was 24 years old and had been on course to become a superstar of long-distance running. His record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon last October set a new world record, beating Eliud Kipchoge’s mark. Kiptum’s success continued last year when he won the London and Chicago races, two of the most prestigious marathons in the world. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe was among those who offered their condolences on social media, writing “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana.”