Nairobi — World Cross Country legend Paul Tergat is all but set to become the new president of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) after incumbent Kipchoge Keino failed to pick and submit his nomination papers ahead of the May 5 elections.
Poll organizers Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD) released the final list of candidates on Wednesday morning and Tergat was the only one cleared to run for the top seat of the organization tainted by claims of funds embezzlement during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Capital Sport has learnt that Keino was prevailed upon not to run by his close associates and now Tergat, also a member of the International Olympic Committee leads a host of 29 other candidates who will square it out for various seats in next month's polls.
Also missing in the final list are the embattled duo of Stephen Arab Soi, the outgoing deputy treasurer and Ben Ekumbo- both who were charged with abuse of office following the chaotic Rio Olympic Games.
But a tough race is expected between Kenya Volleyball Federation President Waithaka Kioni and his Athletics Kenya counterpart, Jackson Tuwei who have both been cleared to vie for the second vice president's seat.
Kioni who has not affiliated himself to any camp so far will challenge Tuwei who openly endorsed Tergat as well as Kenya Hockey Union chair Nashon Randiek and his Taekwondo counterpart Shadrack maluki, also a vocal member of 'Team Tergat'.
Current Secretary General Francis Paul was cleared to defend his seat despite the sports registrar raising concerns with his mother federation, the Kenya Handball Federation which has been recommended for disbandment by the sports tribunal.
He will face off with Kenya Rugby Union director John Kilonzo and Andrew Mudibo of the Kenya Table Tennis Assocation.
Francis Mutuku (Tennis Kenya), Timothy Nabea (Football) and James Chacha (Taekwondo) have been cleared to vie for the assistant Secretary General post.
Accountant Eliud Kariuki will battle it out with KHU vice president and Tergat's close associate Ellyna Shiveka and incumbent Anna Njambi for the treasurers post with Stephen Kiptanui (Tae kwondo), Charles Moses and Paul Rwambo gunning for the assistant treasurer seat.
Athletics 1500m specialist Hellen Obiri and Rugby king Humphrey Kayange are also just waiting for coronation as the male and female athletes' representative as no one else has been cleared to vie in those two seats.
Women's representative will pit Tennis boss Paurvi Rawal against marathon legend Tegla Lorupe and Roseline Njeri while Paul Otula (Basketball), Julius Mwangi (Cycling), Suleiman Kanyanya (Taekwondo), Mohammed Shwaib (Shooting) and Catherine Ndereba (Athletics) will fight for the single slot of elected member.
-By Elvince Joshua-
AUTHOR: Capital Sport