Kelvin Kiptum, the world record holder for a marathon race, has died at the age of 24.
ESPN reports that Kiptum died in a car accident that took place on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2024, in Kenya.
Reports indicate that two other people were in the car with Kiptum at the time of the crash, namely, his coach - Gervais Hakizimana - and an unidentified 24-year-old female.
The girl was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, while Hakizimana has also died.
ESPN reports that the accident took place at around 11 p.m.
Per the outlet:
Kiptum and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana, were killed in the crash at around 11 p.m., police said. It happened near the town of Kapsabet in western Kenya, in the heart of the high-altitude region that's renowned as a training base for the best distance runners from Kenya and across the world.
Kiptum was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the crash, and ESPN reports that his vehicle hit a tree.
The outlet writes, "Their vehicle was the only one involved in the crash late Sunday, and Kiptum was driving when it veered off a road and into a ditch before hitting a tree, police said."
Witnesses say that Kiptum was thrown from the vehicle. Further details about what exactly led to the crash have yet to be reported.
It was widely believed that Kiptum was going to become a distance running superstar, and this, in part, is because he had already set the world record in the marathon race.
The Hill reports, "Kiptum set his blazing 2:00:35 record time at the Chicago Marathon in October. He was the first person to ever finish a record-eligible marathon under 2 hours and one minute."
Experts believed that Kiptum was likely to be among the very top contenders for the gold medal in long-distance racing in the upcoming Paris Olympics.
Seb Coe, the president of World Athletics has released a statement on Kiptum's passing.
On social media, Coe wrote:
We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana. On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates, 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.