Eliud Kipchoge leads the world in mourning Kelvin Kiptum

12th February 2024

Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana met their deaths in a horrific road accident on Sunday night, February 11.

Kelvin Kiptum. PHOTO| Sky Sports
Kelvin Kiptum. PHOTO| Sky Sports
  • Kiptum was one of the most exciting new prospects to emerge in road running in recent years.
  • He grabbed headlines when he made his marathon debut in December 2022, clocking 2:01:53 to win in Valencia - the fastest debut marathon in history.
  • He set the new record at the Chicago Marathon where he clocked 2:00:35, taking 34 seconds off Kipchoge’s world record from 2022.

The untimely demise of the late world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum has shocked many Kenyans and athletics stakeholders across the world.

Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana met their deaths in a horrific road accident on Sunday night, February 11.

The athlete, who recently turned 24, was preparing for the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon where he was seeking to become the first human being to run a sub-two-hour marathon in a competitive event.

His main rival and former world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is among high-profile individuals who have mourned the fallen hero.

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“I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the marathon world record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum. An athlete who had a whole life ahead of him to achieve incredible greatness. I offer my deepest condolences to his young family. May God comfort you during this trying time,” his statement read.

The reigning Berlin Marathon champion was expected to race for the first time against Kiptum at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Kiptum was favorite going into the summer games having lowered Kipchoge’s previous world record from 2:01.09 to 2:00.35 in October last year at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Besides Kipchoge, Kenya’s President William Ruto also mourned the late Kiptum, describing him as a hero whose mental strength and self-discipline were like none other. 

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“Kelvin Kiptum was a star. Arguably one of the world’s finest sportsmen who broke barriers to secure a marathon record. He was only 24 yet, as a hero, triumphed in Valencia, Chicago, and London and in other top competitions. His mental strength and discipline were unmatched. Kiptum was our future,” commented Ruto.

The President went on to commiserate with the family of one of the greatest marathoner runners of all time.

“An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark on the globe. Our thoughts are with the family and sporting fraternity. Rest in Peace,” he wrote.

On his part, World Athletics president Coe stated in his social media post that the athletic family will dearly miss the late Kiptum.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

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On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation. An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly, “part of the statement read.

800m reigning world record holder David Lekuta Rudisha also comforted those who had interacted with the one-time London Marathon winner.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana.

My condolences to the families, friends, athletic fraternity and Kenya at large. This is a huge loss” noted Rudisha.

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Finally, Abbott World Marathon Majors which is made up of the top six marathons in the world including London and Chicago where the late Kiptum has previously triumphed stated that they are devastated by the passing away of Kiptum and his coach.