NAIROBI, October 9 – Athletics Kenya (AK) top brass successfully retained their posts at the associations’ national polls held at Riadha House on Thursday.,
Incumbent chairman Isaiah Kiplagat Isaiah Kiplagat emphatically defeated beat his sole challenger Moses Kiptanui by 55 votes to eight while secretary general David Okeyo and Treasurer Joseph Kinyua also retained their seats.
Paul Mutwii produced the upset of the day edging out Alf Kimani for the second vice chairman seat. Mutwii got 47 votes to claim the seat with Kimani getting just one vote. Lieutenant General Jack Tuwei won the first vice chairman’s seat with 51 votes.
After his re-election, Kiplagat who embarks on his fifth term as chair, made yet another promise to step down in 2010.
“I will spend 50 percent of my time resting and make sure that Tuwei (vice chairman) takes care of the federation as I ease myself out and as and in the next two years, he should be able to take over,” Kiplagat said.
Whether he will keep his word remains to be seen as he made a similar promise to step down in 2004 only for him to go back on his word and contest Thursday’s elections.
Okeyo soundingly defeated 1972 Olympic gold medallist Robert Ouko 56 votes to seven to retain his seat. The secretary general paid tribute to the delegates for voting him back to office and promised to improve regulations of the federation in the country required by IAAF.
“We are going to work together for four years because there are so many events on our calendar so there must be appropriate arrangements in the federation,” Okeyo stated.
Kinyua was re-elected the treasurer with 53 votes after seeing off closest challenger Francis Afundi who collected 10 votes.
The chairman expressed disappointment that no woman had been elected and promised to make the association gender sensitive.
“The IAAF constitution says that we must have a third of women in the federation so we will ensure that we incorporate them and develop their committees to become stronger,” he added.
Peter Angwenyi who retained his Public Relations Officer post after going through unopposed urged all Kenyans to support all the events run by the federation from the grass root level.
“Kenyans have given us the mandate to run athletics in this country and have an appeal to all the athletics in the country to start focusing on the preparations for the World Cross Country Championship,” he said.
Athletics Kenya Coast branch chairman Dimmy Kisalu was elected assistant treasurer, going through unopposed after his contestants withdrew from the race.