The desire for the region and Africa to have a say in the happenings at the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) corridors of power has driven Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei to contest for one of the vice president positions.
Tuwei, the retired Lieutenant General at Kenya Defence Forces, said he will also seek election as one of the Council Member during the IAAF Congress due September 25, this year, two days before the start of the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Tuwei will battle for the four positions at stake in the vice president docket that has attracted nine contestants including Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau from Nigeria. At least one of the positions should go to a woman.
Among those seeking to defend their positions are Sergey Bubka from Ukraine, who is also the senior vice president and Alberto Juantorena from Cuba.
Cameroonian Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, who is also the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) president, won’t seek re-election as one of the vice presidents.
Other contestants are Ahmad Al Kamali from United Arab Emirates, Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud from the Kingdom of South Arabia and India’s Adille Sumariwalla.
Three women will be seeking election as vice presidents, Dutch Sylvia Barlag, Abby Hoffman from Canada and Chinese Ximena Restrepo.
Tuwei said Kenya has been a powerhouse in athletics for many years and it was only fair if the country played a key role in decision making at the highest level.
“This is something I have thought about since we have not had representation since 2015,”said Tuwei. “Some decisions have been made at IAAF and have affected our athletes and it’s fair if we had representation.”
Tuwei said he will move fast to officially launch his bid in the coming days and put in place a campaign machinery that will ensure victory is delivered decisively. “I hope the African continent will fully back my candidature but I know competition will be stiff,” said Tuwei.
The late former AK president Isaiah Kiplagat lost in his bid to become one of the vice presidents and executive committee member during the IAAF Congress in 2015 in Beijing, China.
Nine Africans including Tuwei are among 40 contestants vying for 13 places as Council Members.
Others are Aleck Thandisenzo Skhosana (South Africa), Elias Mpondela (Zambia), Solomon Ogba (Nigeria), Dieudonne Kwizera (Burundi), Nawal El Moutawakel (Morocco), Sarifa Fagilde (Mozambique), Beatrice Ayikoru (Uganda) and Khaled Amara (Tunisia).