National Olympic Committee of Kenya President and Kenyan track legend Kipchoge Keino was left out in the cold when none of the 20 federations endorsed his re-election bid handing his challenger and fellow ex-athlete Paul Tergat an easy win.
Keino’s unceremonious exit means Tergat, a former marathon world record-holder and 2000 Olympic 10,000 metres silver medallist, will be unopposed at the May 5 National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) elections in Nairobi.
The incumbent failed to beat the nomination deadline of last Saturday. “The new law requires anybody contesting for election to get a federation to propose and second him, but I didn’t get. That is why I didn’t return my nomination papers,” said a frustrated Keino.
Asked whether he will support Tergat, who is also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, as he prepares to succeed him, Keino said: “He has never come to me for anything, yet I am the one who took him to the IOC… there is nothing to celebrate, and please just let me be… leave me alone.”
However, talking to journalists after the Centre for Multi-party Democracy (CMD) election board official Irene Tindi released the names of candidates vying for various posts Wednesday, Tergat expressed his delight at remaining unopposed and described Kipchoge as a “great statesman.”
The CMD, that has been mandated to foresee the Nock elections, also said 15 federations and three individuals with special positions will take part in the elections.
The candidature of deputy treasurer Stephen arap Soi and deputy secretary general James Chacha also hang in the balance as the Kenya Tae Kwondo Association (KTA) that proposed them is yet to be cleared to take part in the polls.
KTA was among four federations that CMD was still verifying before allowing them to vote. The others are the Kenya Cycling Federation, Kenya Weight-lifting Association and Kenya Badminton Association.
“I must pay tribute to Kipchoge for leaving an unparalleled mark in sports,” Tergat said.
He is a father to me and we shall still engage him for advice,” said Tergat, who reiterated his position for an all-inclusive leadership at Nock.
“I thank God for this opportunity as I prepare to serve the country’s sports sector at the highest level.”
Tergat said he will still back candidates from the line-up he unveiled during his official launch a month ago. He had Kenya Judo Association and Athletics Kenya presidents Shadrack Maluki and Jackson Tuwei as his first and second deputy presidents respectively.
Kenya Table Tennis Association president Andrew Mudibo will run for the post of secretary general in Tergat’s camp, while Elina Shiveka is gunning for the post of treasurer.
“I want all of them to sail through, but again, this is a democratic process and I am ready to work with anybody who will be elected,” Tergat said.
“My team will be there to serve all the sportsmen and women of this great nation without fear or favour.”
BARRED FROM ELECTIONS
There was anxiety when a letter from the ministry of sports barred Taekwondo, Cycling and Weightlifting federations from taking part in the elections over wrangles. Each of the federations have two camps claiming legality.
Tindi said they still have until Friday to make a ruling after the federations called for some time to sort out their issues.
Several other contests proposed by the three federations are likely to be locked out. They are John Ogolla (Weightlifting), who is vying for deputy secretary general, Charles Mose (Cycling), who is vying for the deputy treasurer’s position and Julius Mwangi (Cycling) and Suleiman Kanyanya (Taekwondo), who want to become members.
The only other people, who are unopposed besides Tergat, are athletes’ representatives Hellen Obiri (female) and Kenya Sevens legend Humphrey Kayange (male).
President: Paul Tergat (Unopposed)
First Deputy President: Shadrack Maluki (Judo), Nahashon Randiek (Hockey)
Second Deputy President: Jackson Tuwei (Athletics), Waithaka Kioni (Volleyball)
Secretary General: Francis Paul (Handball), Andrew Mudibo (table Tennis), John Kilonzo (Rugby)
Deputy Secretary General: James Chacha, Timothy Mabea (Football), John Ogolla (Weightlifting), Francis Mutuku (Tennis)
Treasurer: Elina Shiveka (Hockey), Eliud Kariuki (Wrestling), Anna Njambi (Badminton)
Deputy Treasurer: John Kameta (Boxing), Paul Rwambo (Golf), Charles Mose (Cycling), Steve Kiptanui (Taekwondo)
Elected Members: Julius Mwangi (Cycling), Suleiman Kanyanya (Taekwondo), Paul Otula (Basketball), Mohammed Shoiab(Shooting), Catherine Ndereba (Athletics), Peter Muchiri (Badminton).
Athlete’s Representative (Male): Humphrey Kayange (Rugby, unopposed)
Athlete’s Representative (Female): Hellen Obiri (Athletics, unopposed)
Women’s Representative: Paurvi Rawal (Tennis), Tegla Loroupe (Weightliftng), Roselyne Njeri (Swimming).