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The life and times of Isaiah Kiplagat

Wednesday August 24 2016

Isaiah Kiplagat (right) addresses the media flanked by then Athletics Kenya vice-president David Okeyo at Riadha House on October 14, 2014.

Isaiah Kiplagat (right) addresses the media flanked by then Athletics Kenya vice-president David Okeyo at Riadha House on October 14, 2014. Kiplagat died on August 24, 2016. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

ISAAC SWILA
By ISAAC SWILA
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Nov 12, 1944: Born and bought up in a humble background in Nandi, Rift Valley. Grew up in the village herding cattle.

1950s: Schooled in the 1950s following his mother’s intervention, joining Kapsabet High School School, and later going through a police training programme. This would, perhaps, later inform his authoritative leadership style.

1965: Hired as a cadet officer with the Kenya Prisons upon graduation from the police training programme. He was later promoted and authorised to open and spearhead a new police post in Naivasha.

1966: Leaves for the UK for further education in management studies. It remains unclear to date whether he’d travelled on a scholarship programme or on personal funds.

1975: Upon his return from the UK, he landed a job as a Nairobi council worker before joining Athletics Kenya and being appointed vice-chairman.

1975: His shadow in Kenyan sports begins to expand after he was elected vice-chairman of the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association. In the same year, he also became the vice-chairman of Athletics Kenya.

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1976: Another big year for the Nandi-born sports administrator as he is elected the secretary general of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

1976-1986: For an entire time span of ten years, he served as the Secretary General of the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association becoming one of the most influential voices in the organisation.

1976-1987: As his leadership star continued to rise back home at the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association, so did his profile build at the IAAF, where he became a Technical Committee member.

1987-1989: His love for the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association shows no sign of ending as he occupies yet another crucial position in the body, that of the vice-chairman.

1992: The long wait to lead the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association becomes a reality after he ascends to the chairman’s position.

1977-1996: For close to 20 years, he served as the secretary/treasurer of the East Africa Athletic Board.

1999: He’s incorporated as an IAAF Council Member, handing him muscle in the affairs of the world athletics body.

1988- 2002: Appointed as the managing director of Post Bank, getting an opportunity to build networks within the government. Serves for four years and retires at the end of his term.

2011: He’s re-elected to the IAAF’s Council for another two-year term.

1992-2015: Rises to the throne of Athletics Kenya and establishes a long era spanning 23 years, thus becoming the unofficial symbol and face of the sports body.

April 13, 2015: Steps aside as Athletics Kenya president to concentrate on his campaign for vice-president of the IAAF.

August19, 2015: Fails in bid to capture the IAAF vice-president seat as Briton Sebastian Coe was elected the new chief of the world athletics governing body.

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

August 24, 2016: Dies aged 72 at his Karen residence after a prolonged battle with cancer.

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