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‘I will not rule AK for life’- Kiplagat to critics

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KIPLAGAT-LAMINENAIROBI, Kenya, October 14 – Athletics Kenya (AK) president Isaiah Kiplagat has dismissed the clamour from disgruntled regional affiliates for him to resign saying he will not rule as federation boss for life.

Kiplagat who has been at the reign of the most successful sport in the country for 22 years, has been put under pressure by 14 branch chairmen for the second time in as many years to convene a Special General Meeting (SGM) by October 31 or face being thrown out.

But addressing media Tuesday, the AK boss and IAAF Council Member, called on the dissenting officials to present their grievances in the laid out procedure and said they the constitution doesn’t allow them to call for the SGM.

“Last year those wrangles were there, the same people complained and we meet here and even went to Naivasha and we reconciled. They are raising the same things again.

“I think the new issue they brought up is that they are complaining I’m old but I’m telling them I’m not a stone, at some stage I will leave, its only hills and stones which remain where they are,” the AK boss who met the regional representatives declared as he announced he would stand for the IAAF vice-presidency at the next General Congress of the world governing.

Kiplagat said the opposing side should not think of election at the moment, telling them to wait his term to come to an end in 2017.

“Maybe the problem is about my succession but I’m telling them to take things slowly, there are people who are running so fast, I will leave but when time comes because I was elected by the delegate and I have two more years to go but for now we should work in harmony and serve the athletes of this country,” the long serving boss asserted.

“We have called them three times and they have refused to come surely we cannot come to a solution if they don’t come here and in fact as we are speaking we don’t know the problems, we are only reading through the media.”

The branch chairmen, who met Saturday in a Nairobi hotel, complained of mismanagement and being sidelined from making the decision of the federation.

-AK amends 2014-15 calendar of events-

Meanwhile, the federation revised the new season’s event calendar that begins November, introducing two annual events in the name of Night of Champions and Rangi Run.

The Night of Champions will see them invite all top notch athletes from the world and organise the event under floodlights, while the Rangi run will aim to extend the culture of running among the youth aged up to 25 years, targeting over 100,000 participants.

The regional representatives also came up with four premium events in the cross country series that will be retained in the regions of Iten, Machakos, Nyahururu and Sotik for four years to build a culture in the weekend meetings.

The four regions will each have their own sponsors while AK will oversee Kapsokwon and Nairobi events which will serve as the curtain raisers.

In track, the federation gave the local series rounds to Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret and Thika, with Embu and Bondo the other two added regions.

“We want the events to attract people from those regions where we have a lot of talent. We will soon be entering a partnership with Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association to identify talent in preparation for next year’s World Youth championships,” Kiplagat explained on the aim of introducing the new events.

The 2014-15 season will be busy for AK, since they will be preparing athletes for the Beijing’s World Championships, World Cross Country in China, World Relay’s in Bahamas, World Youth’s in Colombia and the All African Games set for Congo Brazzaville.

Kenya’s Worlds and All African Games’ teams will be selected July 24 and 25 after the National championship that is scheduled for July 2 to 4, while the trials for the World cross will take place February 14 at the National Cross Championships.

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