Peris Jepchirchir is believed to have been behind the wheel when the car lost control and was involved in a fatal road accident. The accident resulted in the death of the late Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, and left another occupant with life-threatening injuries.
Jepchirchir expressed her deep sorrow and shock over the tragic event, stating that the loss of their colleague was especially painful for the athletic fraternity. As one of the most promising new talents in road running, Kiptum had recently broken the marathon record, and there were high hopes for his future, particularly with the upcoming 2024 Olympics.
Jepchirchir lamented the unexpected and heartbreaking nature of the news, mentioning that the athletic community was still celebrating Kiptum’s record when the tragedy occurred. Jepchirchir, who herself is a two-time world half marathon winner, highlighted Kiptum’s achievements and potential, emphasizing that his untimely loss has been deeply mourned by the community.
She also shared that the shocking news had impacted their training schedules, further underscoring the magnitude of the loss. Additionally, Jepchirchir stressed the importance of considering safety measures, suggesting that athletes, particularly, should consider employing drivers to reduce the risk of accidents.
She noted that accidents can happen unexpectedly, and expressed a wish that Kiptum had been using a designated driver at the time. Jepchirchir also mentioned that she had left behind a widow and two young children, and emphasized the need for increased caution and safety measures within the athletic community.
She urged Kenyan runners to consider the use of drivers as a precautionary measure. The text also addresses the unfortunate history of road accidents involving other prominent Kenyan runners, including former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang and 2019 World Athletics Championships 3,000m steeplechase winner Conseslus Kipruto.