NAIROBI, April 30 – Athletics Kenya president proceeded on his three-month sabbatical on Thursday to focus on campaigning for the IAAF vice-presidency revealing consultations are going on for Africa to field a single candidate for the post.
Kiplagat who launched his bid Wednesday evening in Nairobi told Capital Sport he was in talks with Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) president, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum from Cameroon to step down in his favour so that Africa does not lose the seat vacated by Briton Sebastian Coe who is eying the presidency.
“We are discussing with him (Malboum), he came in administration of athletics 10 years ago and he still has a long way to go so I’m hoping we will reach to some consensus by August.
“Since he is a Council Member of IAAF, he loses nothing since he will still be in the top policy making in IAAF. We are consulting with outgoing IAAF President, Lamine Diack and other senior members so that we don’t go the two of us and end up losing,” Kiplagat who chaired AK’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) before proceeding on leave told.
Kiplagat who has been at the helm of the most successful federation in the country for 22 years was confident of clinching the sit even if Malboum doesn’t step down.
“If Africa field one candidate there is no way we will be locked out but if he decides he doesn’t want to step down then we will face each other because all the same I feel I have enough chances of becoming vice president.
“Taking to account of position of Kenya in athletics participation, I think the world will not forsake Kenya because our participation is bigger. The (AK) County Chairmen have endorsed me as well as the Kenyan Government through President, Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy, William Ruto and the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Hassan Wario who will sign a letter for the same,” he declared.
Kiplagat told detractors to give Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei a chance to run the federation with dissent growing from regional administrators and some members of the national executive over the former Army Commander who is seen as his handpicked successor.
“I have left AK in a very stable position, we have our own building and we are financially stable and have a vibrant calendar that we follow to the letter so those who are opposing the move should read the constitution which is very clear,” he added.
In his manifesto, Kiplagat will drive a four pillar campaign anchored under the theme of changing lanes to athletics greatness.
The veteran of 40 years in administration of the sport in Kenya and a long serving IAAF Council member is basing his campaign on four pillars, grassroots development, new formats and events, athlete welfare and education as well a drug free sport.