NAIROBI, March 30 (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.