See how KELVIN KIPTUM’s coach, GERVAIS HAKIZIMANA, sacrificed his family for the world record holder only to end up dead together?

 Wednesday, February 14, 2024 - The death of world marathon record breaker Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizama, hit the country hard as family, government officials, the global athletics community and Kenyans poured messages of tribute to the fallen star. 

Reminiscing her last moments with her late husband, Hakizama's widow narrated what seemed like a normal day to her before she was hit with the hard news of his husband’s death later that night. 

“Kiptum called my husband in the evening and asked him to go help with some errands in town, and I never saw him again,” Hakizimana’s widow, Joan Jelimo stated.

Speaking on Tuesday, the widow revealed that Gervis and Kiptum’s relationship went beyond professional coaching, as the two had been friends since the late athlete was a teenager. 

“Kiptum used to pass by our home, and sleep in our house in Nairobi before flying out for his races,” the widow stated. 

According to Joan, the two used to chase each other in a forest near their homes when they were younger, before establishing a professional relationship after realizing Kiptum's extraordinary talent. 

The coach-athlete relationship came to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they spent more time together during the lockdown. 

“Even as Kiptum’s coach, my husband was a hero to me, to my daughter, to Kenyans, and the whole athletics fraternity,” Jelimo stated. 

Jelimo, amid tears, stated that his husband had planned to move the family of three to France, in search of a better life for them, instead, he shelved the plan to help Kiptum become the global sensation he eventually became. 

“We used to talk every day, we had even planned to take our child to school the following day,” Jelimo stated. 

“He just wanted to train him, he wanted to break the under two hours record, he was here for it, otherwise we would have gone to France.”


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