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Tergat elected IOC member

Paul-Tergat-cutBUENOS AIRES, Argentina, September 10- Former world marathon record holder and twice Olympics silver medallist, Paul Tergat, has been elected as an International Olympics Committee (IOC) member on Tuesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tergat is among the new IOC members elected at the Olympics governing body’s congress that is going on in Argentina although he did not vote in the elections of the new president later Tuesday.

Russian Olympic Committee president and politician Alexander Zhukov and U.S. Olympic Committee head Larry Probst, are among others voted to the committee.

Tergat was proposed to replace Dr. Kipchoge Keino at the IOC following last year’s London Olympics by the National Olympics Committee- Kenya (NOCK) that the legendary double Olympics champion heads.

Kipchoge who is over the IOC membership threshold age of 71, is now a honorary life member of the Olympics body having been granted that honour with among others, former president Juan Antonio Samatranch.

“The advantage we have (Kenya) is that now we have a member and honorary member of the IOC. We congratulate Tergat for being elected as an IOC membership. There are a lot of things we did on the background, including the introduction to the council by Kipchoge in Laussane,” Nock Executive Officer, Stephen Soi, told Capital Sport.

“There were other countries eying the same seat and its great that our efforts have borne fruit in the end and we can look forward to Africa being represented well, besides Kenya at the IOC,” he added.

Tergat, 44, made his name as the ‘Gentleman of Athletics’ in his outstanding distance running career that also marked his status as the first man to win five World Cross Country senior titles in a row between 1995 and 1999.

He set the world record of 2:05:55 at the 2003 Berlin Marathon besides winning the 2006 New York race having participated in the men 10,000m finals hailed as the best ever at the Olympics in the 1996 and 2000 games in Atlanta and Sydney where he lost the gold to Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrsellasie by the thickness of a vest on both occasions.

His great rival in competition and personal friend off it followed his footsteps to the ultimate distance where he set two world records with 2:04:24 and 2:03:59 before Patrick Makau brought it back to Kenya with his 2:03:38 winning effort at the 2011 edition of the same Berlin race.

During the Nock elections in May, Tergat retained his seat as the athletes representative for men, beating swimmer and Commonwealth champion, Jason Dunford, by 20 votes by nine.

He is the founder of the Paul Tergat Foundation that among others, organises the annual Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards that decorate outstanding Kenyan sports persons.

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