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Athletics | Africa

Paul Tergat © Gallo Images

Tergat to run for board presidency

Kenya's double Olympic 10 000m silver medallist Paul Tergat said on Thursday he plans to enter the race to lead the country's embattled Olympic committee (NOCK) during the May polls.

The former marathon world record holder and five-time world cross-country champion said in a statement he was ready to take a leadership role after years watching from the sidelines.

He is set to take on current NOCK chief, also a former athlete, Kipchoge Keino, who is expected to defend his seat during the May 5 elections.

"After serving the nation as an athlete for more than two decades, today marks another a new chapter as I join another race in my career," the 47-year-old Tergat said.

"My aim is to create a strong sense of togetherness in a bid to have a strong cohesion as an Olympic family in this part of the world."

Tergat has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 2013, and served as an athletes' representative in NOCK.

He said he was motivated to enter the race after the board on Tuesday agreed to a set of reforms that for the first time allow athletes -- and not only the heads of national sports associations -- to take part in the election.

The reforms, which also change the voting process to strip the NOCK executive committee of its monopoly over the process, had previously been rejected twice, prompting the IOC to freeze funding to Kenya earlier this month.

Tergat said he hoped the passing of the document would put Kenya back on good terms with the IOC and the country could "look at the future with confidence".

NOCK has been clouded in scandal over its disastrous management of the Rio Olympics which saw several officials jailed with various offences, including stealing uniforms meant for the team.


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