July 25th 2017

Sports / Updates

Tergat 'captures' NOCK chair ahead of polls

The new development means Tergat will be elected unopposed at the May 5 NOCK elections, in Nairobi, shifting the focus to the other ten seats that are up for grabs. Tergat hailed Keino for the wise decision, saying Keino had demonstrated high leadership qualities by opting out of the poll.

By David JagongoWednesday, 26 Apr 2017 18:17 EAT

Paul Tergat.

Ahead of the forthcoming National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), Paul Tergat has captured the chairmanship of the country's Olympic body. Tergat, a five-time World Cross Country champion and former marathon world record holder, was the sole aspirant for the chairman's seat by the Wednesday April 25 deadline for submission of the nomination forms.

NOCK Electoral Board secretary Irene Tindi confirmed Tergat's sole candidature, saying he was the only one who returned the nomination forms  for the chairman's post by Wednesday's deadline. Others, who by all indications will also sail in unopposed, are Hellen Obiri and renowned rugby sevens player Huphrey Khayange, both gunning for female and male athletes representatives respectively. By Wednesday they were the sole aspirants for their respective seats.

Outgoing chairman, the legendry Kipchoge Keino, an Olympic gold medallist, who announced his plans to defend the chairman's seat, apparently opted out. The new development means Tergat will be elected unopposed at the May 5 NOCK elections, in Nairobi, shifting the focus to the other ten seats that are up for grabs. Tergat hailed Keino for the wise decision, saying Keino had demonstrated high leadership qualities by opting out of the poll.

He said the former middle distance runner, had seen the need for freshblood and younger people with new ideas taking charge of the national Olympic office. A source, an insider, told the media that Kipchoge had nothing to lose because he will remain a member of the Olympic body as  per the new national Olympic office's constitution. ''Kip has nothing to lose by opting out of the race, he will only be no longer the chairman, but remain a NOCK member'', he said.

Among the things Tergat wants to put right upon his formal election as chairman is athletes' allowances and kitting. These are basic but important matters which his administration will put right, right from the onset said, Tergat a captain in the Kenya Airforce.

Financial, kitting and documentation scandals hit Team Kenya at the 2016 Rio Olympics, culminating in four Olympic body officials being arraigned in court, facing fraud and theft charges, upon returning home. Among those who faced the charges and now out on bond are a vice-chairman Pius Ochieng and assistant treasurer, who was the Chief De Mission, Stephen Arap Soi.

Fifteen federations affiliated to  the Olympic body will participate in the polls, while five-weightlifting, taekwondo, basketball, cycling\ and lawn tennis-which have issues, will only cast their votes after being vetted by the electoral board.

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