Athletics Athletics

Tergat named Kampala World XC ambassador

SOYA Awards Founder and Patron Paul Tergat.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Kenya’s Cross Country legend Paul Tergat has been appointed IAAF ambassador for the World Cross Country Championships slated for Kololo Grounds Kampala, Uganda on March 26.

According to a statement from the world governing body, IAAF, Tergat’s tour of Uganda will entail visiting different schools, participating in a legacy programme and addressing a press conference. Tergat is expected to be in Kampala from February 28 to March 2.

The five-time World Cross Country champion and former world record holder won the world cross country titles from 1995-1999 in the senior men’s 12km category and he is among the three athletes to have won the event five times and more.

He first won the title in Durham, United Kingdom in 1995 and followed it up with four other consecutive wins in Stellenbosch, South Africa (1996), Turin, Italy (19970, Marakech, Morocco (1998) and Belfast (1999).

The other two are Kenya’s John Ngugi, who won the title a record four consecutive times between 1986 and 1989 and returned in 1992 to complete the fifth crown and Ethiopian KeninisaBekele, who ruled the event in for six years thus: (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008). Another Kenyan, William Sigei won it twice in 1993 and 1994.

Tergat is also a former World Half Marathon champion having won it in 1999 in Palermo, Italy and in 2000 in Veracruz, Mexico.

Tergat is former world record holder in the marathon, having set clocked 2:04.55 at the 2003 Berlin Marathon. His marathon debut saw him finish second in his first three marathons in Chicago (2001) and the London marathon in 2001and 2002.

He later won the New York Marathon in 2005, beating defending champion, HendrickRamaala of South Africa in a sprint finish.

Tergat also held the world half marathon record which stood at (59:06) but it was later broken by the late Olympic marathon champion, Samuel Wanjiru (58:33) in 2007.

He is also a two-time Olympics 10,000m silver medalist, having won in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney 2,000.

At the world championships, he won silver in 10,000m in Athens 1997 and Sevilla in 1999 and crowned it all with a bronze medal in 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

He is also the founder of the popular Sports Personality of the Year Award and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 2013.