Former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat will once again be seeking election to join the world’s most exclusive club,the International Olympics Committee, IOC four years after his failed attempt.
The National Olympics Committee of Kenya, NOCK, Wednesday’s general assembly affirmed the decision by the Board to replace Kipchoge Keino as a member almost a year after the latter retired after serving as an IOC Member for 10 years.
“We have forwarded Paul Tergat’s name for consideration for IOC membership to replace Dr Kipchoge which will be known next year,” Francis Paul, the secretary General of NOCK announced to a hearty round of applause by members.
The IOC membership is one of the most coveted appointments in the world of sports. As members they attend IOC sessions, have voting rights for various Olympic bids and are assured of attending IOC organised competitions like the Youth, summer and winter Olympic games.
Kipchoge’s term of office expired at the end of 2010 due to the rules concerning age limits and was endorsed as a honorary member during the IOC session held in July 2011 in Durban.
“I am always ready to serve and represent Kenya like I did during my active years as an athlete,” commented Tergat who attended the annual general meeting as an Athletes representative at the NOCK executive board, guarded and conscious after his last unsuccessful stub at the IOC membership at the meeting preceding the Beijing Olympic games.
Indeed if elected it will be a big honour for Tergat who has in the past expressed interest in playing a bigger role at the NOCK or Athletics Kenya, AK outside the sedentary representative, membership roles he currently serves.
In 2008 Tergat was among 31 high profile Olympic athletes who put their names forward for the four available slots in the IOC.
As an active runner and with Kipchoge already in as a member he failed in his bid. But with the full backing of NOCK this time and the 53 strong Africa Nations Olympic committee, ANOCA, he is expected to capture the seat at the IOC session in September in Buenoa Aires, Argentina.
Wanjiru posthomously honored by Commonwealth
Meanwhile, 2008 Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru has been posthumously honoured with the runners up Outstanding Male Athlete, 2009 Commonwealth Sports Award during the NOCK General meeting held Wednesday, November 14 in Nairobi.
The award was received on his behalf by his wife, Terezah Wanjiru who revealed plans to hold a half marathon to mark Wanjiru’s second anniversary in Nyahururu.
Njeri explained that she was disappointed by the low-key ceremony in Nyahururu marking the first anniversary last August and plans to make her late husbands' second anniversary memorable.
“I felt Wanjiru deserved more than prayers that were held by a section of athletes from the region accompanied by family members who converged at Nyahururu stadium to mark his anniversary. That is why we are working on making the half marathon a reality next year,” said Njeri.
Apart from the half marathon, Njeri also revealed that she has longterm plans to oversee the construction of a stadium to be named after Wanjiru.
The 2008 Beijing champion died in mysterious circumstances in the night of May 15, 2011 after jumping from the balcony of his house in his Nyahururu home.
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Additional reporting by Elvince Joshua