NAIROBI, September 15- Incumbent Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman Isaiah Kiplagat will defend his seat in the upcoming AK elections despite previously stating that he will not be seeking re-election.,
AK’s first vice chairman Alf Kimani said on Monday that Kiplagat’s decision and that of the rest of the executive board was based on the impeccable record registered by the sport’s governing body and the wishes of its registered members and affiliate bodies.
“It will be naïve for Athletics Kenya to have done the very best for athletics in this country at this particular time then expect them to wave goodbye and just go away,” said Kimani who spoke on behalf of the executive.
When taken to task as to why Kiplagat had decided to seek re-election even after he stated at the last annual general meeting that he would stand down as athletics supremo, Kimani said appeals from AK members had prevailed upon him and the board to rescind that decision.
“We did confirm with other members of the executive and the affiliate bodies about their position on the matter and that they agreed that the current board should seek fresh mandate,” said Kimani.
Kimani further stated that the board is not imposing itself adding that any member who wishes to stand for any of the elective positions is free to do so as enshrined in the organization’s constitution.
Other candidates who have expressed interest in the top seat include former athlete Moses Kiptanui and AK Southern branch chairman Paul Mutui.
Treasurer Joseph Kinyua said that he will be seeking a final term as overseer of AK coffers.
District elections are scheduled for September 27 and October 4 while national elections are to be held on October 9.
Meanwhile, Kiplagat has appealed to the government to provide security for athletes who receive cash rewards for their exploits.
Kiplagat was speaking in the wake of the raid on this year’s Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru’s home in Nyahururu last Friday.
“AK is shocked at the attack on Sammy Wanjiru’s and we are now worried that people are targeting our athletes,” said Kiplagat.
“We are going to write to the police commissioner to provide security to these athletes who took part in the Olympics and other IAAF meets,” said Kiplagat.
He also urged athletes to take all necessary safety precautions while in the country.
Wanjiru’s house was attacked on Friday night by gangsters who were in search of the monies he received from the government for his victory in Beijing.
His family was unharmed in the incident.