MARATHON world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died aged 24.
Here we take a look into Kelvin’s cause of death, his career highlights and achievements, and the tributes shared.
SplashKelvin Kiptum has died aged just 24[/caption]
What was Kelvin Kiptum’s cause of death?
On February 11, 2024, it was reported that London Marathon winner Kelvin Kiptum had died aged just 24.
The long distance runner tragically passed away after being involved in a car crash on a road in Western Kenya.
Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero
The athlete was killed alongside his coach Garvais Hakizimana.
Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Petr Mulinge confirmed the accident took place at approximately 11pm (8pm GMT) on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
According to Police Commander Petr Mulinge, Kelvin had lost control of the vehicle, veering off the road and landing in a ditch about 60 metres away, before colliding with a tree.
He added that both Kelvin and Garvais Hakizimana “died on the spot”.
Local reports also stated that a second passenger – a lady identified as Sharon Kosgey – was in the car at the time of the crash.
She survived the impact but suffered serious injuries, and was transported to Racecourse Hospital to recieve medical attention.
The bodies of Kelvin and his coach Garvais Hakizimana were taken to the hospital’s mortuary.
When did Kelvin Kiptum set the marathon world record?
In 2023, the late athlete celebrated his finest career victory after he smashed the world marathon record in Chicago.
Kelvin completed the 26 mile race in just two hours and 35 seconds – beating the mark of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge.
The star had made the switch to running the marathon from shorter distance races a year prior to setting the record pace.
The International track federation World Athletics only ratified his records in February 2024.
What other marathon’s did Kelvin Kiptum win?
In addition to achieving world-record breaking success, Kelvin had also won the London Marathon in April 2023.
During the famous race, Kelvin broke the course record – crossing the finish line in two hours one minute and 25 seconds.
How Kelvin Kiptum went from borrowing shoes to winning London Marathon
Kelvin Kiptum was renowned for being the only person in history to run the marathon in under two hours and one minute.
But the Kenyan, 24, had to rise from the depths of poverty prior to his remarkable success.
When he lined up for his first major local competition in 2018, Kiptum did so wearing borrowed running shoes because he could not afford a pair of his own.
Kiptum began his career on the road, breaking away from the past tradition of athletes starting on the track before switching to longer distances.
But that wasn’t out of choice.
Kiptum claims he made the decision purely because of a lack of resources.
“I had no money to travel to track sessions,” he explained to BBC Sport Africa.
“My training place is far from a track, so I started training with road-running guys – and that’s how I got into marathon.”
In an interview with the BBC in 2023, Kelvin had opened up on his rise to success.
He said: ”It has been a long journey for me through my career. I have been trying so hard to pursue this dream to run a world record.
“It has come true and I am really happy. My life has now changed.”
His coach Garvais Hakizimana – who also died in the crash – participated in the same interview and spoke of Kelvin.
He said: “I knew him when he was a little boy, herding livestock barefooted.
“It was in 2009, I was training near his father’s farm, he’d come kicking at my heels and I would chase him away.
“Now, I am grateful to him for his achievement.”
What has been said about Kelvin Kiptum’s death?
Following the news of Kelvin Kiptum’s death, a number of tributes have poured in, with Kenya’s former prime minister confirming the ”the profound loss of a true hero”.
“Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight.”
“My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity.
“Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.”
Also paying tribute, World Athletics president Seb Coe said: “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.”
London Marathon organisers wrote: “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.”
Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba also took to X and said: “Devastatingly sickening!! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.”
What was Kelvin Kiptum’s net worth?
Prior to his passing, the exact figure of Kelvin Kiptum’s net worth was not publicly shared.
However, he was thought to have amassed an estimated net worth of $500,000 (approximately £396,000), according to various reports.
Kelvin’s primary source of income had stemmed from his illustrious career in athletics.
Why it took Kiptum 23 YEARS to agree to run a marathon
Kiptum may have been a world record holder and champion but it took a lot of convincing to get him to run in the first place.
According to his coach Garvais Hakizimana – who died alongside him this week – Kiptum needed time to warm up to the idea of running a marathon.
The Kenyan initially feared that it might be too tough.
“He had some fear and preferred the shorter half-marathon until 2022 when he finally agreed to a marathon,” Hakizimana told BBC Sport Africa.
Fast forward a few years and Kiptum would have 42km triumphs in Valencia, London and Chicago.
But there were also other complications getting in the way of Kiptum fulfilling his potential.
Kiptum had to convince his family that he could make it in athletics.
His father had been adamant that he should go to college instead.
“He wanted me to study to pursue my diploma to be an electrician but I was saying that I needed to be an athlete – I had that passion,” Kiptum recalled.
“That period was very hard for me because I trained for four years, yet there were no successes and they were disappointed in me. But I kept on pushing.”