NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – Eleven out of 22 eligible Nationals Sports Federations in Kenya have thrown their weight behind cross country legend Paul Tergat for the presidency of National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK).
With endorsement of the 11, Tergat who also holds a vote of IOC member will just need three votes from the remaining 11 federations plus Athlete Representative and a Committee Member to take over the leadership of the Olympic body from Kipchoge Keino whom he referred to as “my father”
In his manifesto, Tergat has promised to safeguard the image of NOCK even as he plans to declare zero tolerance on doping if elected the boss of Olympic body.
“I will ensure that Kenyan sports remain clean. There will be no room for doping. I will have zero tolerance to drugs during my tenure,” The five-time world cross country champion said.
“I feel your endorsement has touched me to the core,” said the former world marathon record holder just moments after he got the enormous amount of support from the affiliates including Kenya Rugby Union chairman Richard Omwela.
Omwela, who was recently re-elected for a second term as rugby boss, had announced his intention to vie for the same post but stepped down and instead threw his support behind Tergat.
“We had plan B, but now that to you are here, plan B can wait,” said Omwela. He added, “We rugby are with you. We are Team Paul and we want to assure you that we are behind you.”
Tergat paid tribute to outgoing chairman Kipchoge Keino whom he said is his hero before urging him to retire.
“Mzee is my father and remains one of the greatest sportsmen in Kenya and even globally. However, time has come for young blood to come in.”
Tergat announced his lineup that includes Shadrack Muluki of Judo who will be vying for the first Vice Presidency with Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei going for the second vice president.
Andrew Mudibo of Kenya Table Tennis and Tennis Kenya Vice President Francis Mutuku will fight for Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General respectively.
Ellyna Shiveka (Kenya Hockey Union) and Boxing Association of Kenya boss John Kameta as Treasurer and assistant treasurer respectively while athletes representation Catherine Ndereba, Nebea Murithi (FKF NEC Eastern Province) and Shwaib Buyana of shooting all vying for committee members.
-By Elvince Joshua-