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AK chief Isaiah Kiplagat fails in IAAF VP bid

Wednesday August 19 2015

Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat at the launch of his bid to be elected as one of the IAAF vice-presidents on April 29, 2015.

Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat at the launch of his bid to be elected as one of the IAAF vice-presidents on April 29, 2015. Kiplagat on August 19, 2015 failed in his bid to win the race for the VP post. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Long-serving Athletics Kenya supremo Isaiah Kiplagat on Wednesday failed in his bid to capture the IAAF vice-president seat as Briton Sebastian Coe was elected the new chief of the world athletics governing body.

Efforts by Kiplagat to retain his seat as a council member, a position he has held since 1999, also came a cropper at the 50th International Association of Athletics Federations Congress in Beijing, China.

Kiplagat, who has been at the helm of AK since 1992 but stepped aside in April this year, finished last as Qatari Dahlan al-Hamad, Cameroon’s Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, Cuban Alberto Juantorena and Sergey Bubka (Ukraine), who lost to Coe in the race for the presidency, were elected vice-presidents.

The other candidates who fell off alongside Kiplagat were Abby Hoffman (Canada) and Bernard Amsalem (France). Kiplagat had hoped that Kalkamba, who is also the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) president, could stand down for him, but the Cameroonian declined.

REPRIEVE FOR BUBKA

However, Bubka got 187 votes to become the senior vice president followed by Dahlan 159, Kalkaba, 115 and Juantorena 111. Amsalem got 108, Hoffman 96 while Kiplagat 64 to fail in their bid.

Kiplagat garnered 46 votes. Those elected as council members are Yokokawa Hiroshi (Japan) 98, Philakoski Atti (Finland) 84, Amsalem Bernard (France) 75, Butov Mikhail (Russia) 69, Sumariwalla Adille (India) 61 and Al Saud Nawaf bin Mohammed (KSA) 55.

Following Kiplagat's failed bid to retain his seat in the IAAF Council, no Kenyan will now serve in the council.

Kiplagat stepped aside for three months from May 1 to concentrate his efforts on the campaign. Lieutenant-General (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei took charge.

But it’s left to be known what Kiplagat's next move will be, having promised to relinquish his AK position if elected as one of the IAAF vice-presidents.

Before stepping aside, Kiplagat was at war with 14 of the 16 AK affiliates that wanted him to resign. But the wrangles seem to have subsided after he opted to step aside from the federation that has been one of the most successful in the country over the years.

There was more bad news for Kenya when AK vice-president David Okeyo failed to defend his position as the chairman of the IAAF Cross Country Committee, losing to Portuguese Carlos Cardoso.

However, there was a reprieve for the AK vice-president, who was elected member of the IAAF Cross Country Committee, as Fatuma Awale, also from Kenya, claimed one of the eight positions as a committee member on the IAAF Women’s Committee. Annie Philips will chair the Women’s Committee.

Okeyo was elected member of the Cross Country Committee alongside World women's marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe (Britain), Patience Beatrice Ayikoru (Uganda), Wang Dawei (China), Khalid Skah (Morocco) and Siddig Ibrahim.

Other Kenyans who lost their bids were Ibrahim Hussein, who was among 34 contestants vying for the 12 positions as committee members in the IAAF Technical Committee, and Joseph Ochieng, who was contesting in the Race Walking Committee.

COE CLINCHES TOP SEAT

Coe was elected as the sixth IAAF president, polling 115 votes to Bubka’s 92.

Newly elected International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe is seen on a screen in the media centre as he speaks to delegates after the election at the IAAF Congress in Beijing on August 19, 2015. The Congress is being held ahead of the IAAF Athletics World Championships which open in Beijing on August 22. PHOTO | GREG BAKER |

Newly elected International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe is seen on a screen in the media centre as he speaks to delegates after the election at the IAAF Congress in Beijing on August 19, 2015. The Congress is being held ahead of the IAAF Athletics World Championships, which open in Beijing on August 22, 2015. PHOTO | GREG BAKER |AFP

"I am deeply honoured that our sport has placed its trust in me. There is no job I want to do more — nor with greater commitment," said Coe.

Among the first to congratulate Coe were current IAAF president Lamine Diack and Bubka, who was later elected as an IAAF vice-president.

"We have a man who has devoted his life to the sport," said Diack.

"I know that athletics in the future will grow, and become stronger and stronger," added Bubka.

Coe will take office on August 31, after the end of the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

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