Kenya’s Kiplagat optimistic of IAAF vice presidency

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Nairobi, May 30 (IANS) Long-serving Athletics Kenya (AK) boss Isaiah Kiplagat is still optimistic of winning one of the four seats for world athletic governing body, IAAF vice-presidency despite failing to broker a deal to field one African candidate.

The IAAF confirmed on Friday the list of candidates that will vie for various positions at the helm of the world body. Kiplagat and fellow African and president of Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) Hamad Kalkaba Malboum from Cameroon, were listed among seven contestants for the vice presidency, reports Xinhua.

Sitting vice-president and world pole vault record holder Sergey Bubka from Ukraine, who is also gunning for the presidency against retired British middle distance legend Sebastian Coe, is among the list. The other candidates are Abby Hoffman (Canada), Dahlan Al Hamad (Qatar), Alberto Juantorena Danger (Cuba) and Bernard Amsalem (France).

Last month, the veteran Kenyan supremo, who has been in administration for four decades and leading AK for the last 22 years, announced he asked Kalkaba to withdraw to bolster Africa’s chances of nailing one of the four seats.

“Kalkaba declined to step down for me, but that is not a problem. We can each vie for the post but only one African will likely get a seat. There are four positions and there is the likelihood of Abby stepping down and Bubka is running for the presidency,” said Kiplagat.

Kiplagat is also in contention to retain his seat as a member of the IAAF Council he has held for over 15 years.

Kiplagat, who took a three-month sabbatical from AK at the beginning of the month to focus on his bid for the IAAF vice- presidency, added he would step up his campaigns by selling his four point manifesto he launched on May 3.

He is hinging his campaigns on grassroots development, new formats and events, athlete welfare and education and a drug free sport having indicated he would step down from the leadership of the local federation if elected to the vice-presidency.

AK vice-president in-charge of Competition and Administration David Okeyo will defend the chairmanship of the IAAF Cross Country Committee against Saad Al-Hiyasat of Jordan and Carlos Cardoso of Portugal.

Okeyo is also in the race for one of the eight member seats in the committee he heads at the world governing body that has attracted 26 contestants.

Other Kenyans who were confirmed candidates include former New York and Boston marathon champion Ibrahim Hussein, who heads the IAAF Regional Development Centre in Nairobi, and AK vice-president Women’s Affairs Fatuma Awale.

Joseph Ochieng, Member of IAAF Race Walking Committee, rounds of the list from the country that has an established tradition in long distance running excellence.

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