Kelvin Kiptum, the long-distance runner who set a world record after running the 2023 Chicago Marathon in just over two hours, has died.
Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, were killed in a road accident on Feb. 10 in Kenya. According to multiple outlets including ESPN, local police said the pair’s car, which Kiptum was driving, swerved into a ditch and collided with a tree. Both Kiptum and Hakizimana died on site and a second passenger, a woman, was reportedly hospitalized with serious injuries. No other vehicles were involved.
Kenyan President William Ruto shared his condolences in a statement on Monday, noting that Kiptim “was our future” and that the loss felt especially tragic due to the athlete’s young age and promising career.
Kiptum held three of the top seven fastest marathon times on record, per Reuters. He was reportedly aiming to clock the upcoming marathon in Rotterdam, Netherlands in less than two hours, which would have been an historic first.
The fastest marathon runner in the world at the time of his death, Kiptum was also set to compete at the Paris Olympics this summer.
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