Tokyo — Paul Tergat keeps raising the bar at the Olympic Games, previously as an athlete, and now as an administrator.
Re-elected as International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member for another eight-year term on the sidelines of the Tokyo Olympic Games Wednesday, Tergat, 51, wants to see more Kenyan administrators angle for positions in international federation.
The first man to dip under 2:05:00 in the marathon in winning the Berlin Marathon in a then world record two hours, four minutes and 55 seconds in 2003, Tergat was also appointed by the IOC President, Thomas Bach, to sit on the IOC Tokyo Games Disciplinary Commission.
The commission handles all cases of alleged violations to the Olympic Charter or of any decision or applicable regulation issued by the IOC or any international federation during the Olympic Games.
The Kenya Air Force officer feels Kenyan administrators underestimate their potential and need to venture into management of regional, continental and global federations "to give Kenya a vantage point in the global sports discourse."
Pipped by the thickness of a vest by foe-turned-friend Haile Gebrselassie in the final of the 10,000 metres at the Sydney Olympics, Tergat is now a clear leader in the Olympic movement.
And he wants compatriots to follow suit.
"The most important thing for me is to motivate other sports administrators to go for positions in international federations instead of fighting over local issues," Tergat, a five-time world cross country champion implored.
"The problem we have is that we are not visionary," he told Nation Sport in Tokyo.
"We need to be in international federations so that our impact is felt far and wide and so that we can create opportunities for generations to come."
But he noted that such recognition would only come "if sports managers embraced the values of integrity, fairness and openness."
Tergat was first elected IOC Member in 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He enters his second term at the IOC during an extraordinary Olympic Games that was postponed a year ago due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tergat's re-election at the IOC Session, alongside four other members follows another appointment early this year in March as IOC Refugee Foundation Board Member.
He promised to deliver and provide his services and passion for the Olympic Family, "especially athletes during the extraordinary Games of the 32nd Olympiad edition in Tokyo."
"I give my assurance of willingness and readiness to discharge the assigned responsibility with diligence, integrity, without fear or favour for the benefit of the desired goals and objectives of the Disciplinary Committee", said Tergat.
"It is a great honour for me, but most importantly, for my country Kenya, represented here by our gallant Team Kenya," he added.
Tergat sits with Kipchoge Keino, a Honorary Member of IOC and his immediate predecessor at the helm of the National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOC-K).
The late Charles Mukora is the other Kenyan to have served as IOC member.