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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Athletic legend Paul Tergat to vie for Kenyan Olympic chief

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Athletics legend Paul Tergat has thrown his hat into the ring and will be vying to lead the Kenya’s Olympic committee in the national election scheduled for May 5.

Tergat, a two time Olympic silver medallist, has taken off the lid over his plans saying he no longer sees the current team as best to carry the country forward. The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) is currently headed by another legend Kipchoge Keino.

“I have worked hard to represent this great country at international championships against all odds. I have earned my spot and I believe time has finally come for me to take the mantle and lead our sports to greater success,” said Tergat here on Thursday.

Tergat, who is also a five-time World Cross Country champion, said he will focus on improving the welfare of the athletes and all sportsmen.

“I want to take a big role in leading our sports. We have good talent, but they need to be mentored and guided properly and that will be a challenge am ready to take,” he said.

However, Tergat will not be facing a simple battle. If his battles with Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie on the track is anything to go by, then the duel with Keino will be brutal.

The former world marathon record holder (2.04.54) will bring in new imputes in the management of sports in the country and work hard on improving the performance of Kenya on the global stage.

Kenya was placed fifth overall at the last Olympics in Rio winning seven medals all from athletics.

However, Tergat has pledged to diversify his support to other disciplines in order to increase Kenya’s competitiveness at the Olympics.

He hopes his candidacy will bring unity in the sports industry, improve cohesion and regain athletes trust on management of their affairs, which has been lacking.

“I have watched from the periphery as the management of Nock has struggled and mishandled the affairs of our sportsmen. At times, I have played peripheral role just to ensure that the interests of athletes are taken care of. I want a central role to be in charge and direct this country forward,” said Tergat.

His announcement comes just days after NOCK incumbent officials, under pressure, agreed to adopt a new constitution fronted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to avoid a ban.

On Tuesday, 18 delegates plus 11 National Executive Members of NOCK unanimously voted in favour of the new constitution on their third attempt to pave way for the elections.

The new constitution takes off the voting rights from the 11 Executive Members, who have expressed interest to defend their seats.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Javelin world champ Yego to compete in Finland

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius Yego of Kenya has confirmed he will compete at the Paavo Nurmi Games, which are part of the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Turku, Finland on June 13.

Yego has not attended any competitive event since he injured his leg at the Rio Olympics back in August 2016.

The Kenyan thrower was heartbroken with the injury, having gone to the games aiming to wipe out his London 2012 Olympics failures where he finished bottom.

He had to settle for silver at the Rio games, a medal won in his first attempt which went into 88.24m. Yego, 26, probably would have thrown further had he not retired from the last two throws with injury.

Now he has another chance this season to prove his critics wrong. The ‘You Tube’ man wrote history last year at the Beijing World Championships to become the first Kenyan to win gold in a field event at this level of competition.

“It is true I will compete in Finland. I am now working on improving my fitness because the injury has healed well,” Yego said.

Organisers of the World Challenge event have confirmed that three global champions will join Olympic champion Thomas Rohler on the javelin runway in Finland.

World champion Yego, 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott and 2007 world champion Tero Pitkamaki will face Rohler and his German compatriot Johannes Vetter in the Finnish city.

All five men have personal best throws of beyond 89 metres. Rohler won in Turku last year, throwing a world-leading 91.28m to add more than two metres to the meeting record Pitkamaki set in 2015.

The addition of Yego, Walcott and Vetter means the top four finishers from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will gather in Turku.

           

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