Kenya’s world record holder for marathons, Kiptum, and his coach perished in a car crash late on Sunday, leaving the sport in shock and grieving the loss of one of its most promising young athletes. The 24-year-old was among the favorites for this summer’s Olympic race in Paris after setting a new world record in October of last year by covering the 26-mile (42-kilometer) endurance classic in Chicago in two hours and one minute.
The car that Kiptum and his coach, Rwandan Gervais Hakizimana, were driving in the Rift Valley between Kaptagat and Eldoret, lost control at approximately 11:00 p.m. local time, according to the police. The two women inside the car were killed when the car swerved into a ditch and struck a tree. Another woman was hurt.
The crash happened not far from Eldoret’s high-altitude training facility, in the village of Kaptagat, where Kiptum was born and currently resides. Top athletes in Kenya prefer to train on this road, which has recently seen a number of high-profile accidents.