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Kiplagat back in the Riadha House saddle

Long serving Athletics Kenya (AK) president Isaiah Kiplagat is back at the federation after a futile three-month sabbatical in search of IAAF vice-presidency.

Kiplagat took leave from May 1 to concentrate on his IAAF bid with a promise to hand over AK reigns should he triumph in the world governing body elections. But after failing to capture any of the four slots, Kiplagat returned to Riadha House yesterday and declared the ‘Leave is over’.

AK executive committee will hold a sitting after the conclusion of African Games in late September to give a direction over the future of AK leadership. Kiplagat has spent 40 years in AK administration, serving the last 23 years as the president. His term is due in 2017 and he expressed a desire to see out his term then exit AK leadership.

“I am back because my leave is over. I promised to hand over if elected but that did not happen. I however, do not want to force my way back but will let the executive committee decide on my future. That will be late September after the conclusion of African Games,” Kiplagat said.

“If they decide to send me packing I’ll have no choice but to go and play with my grand children. If they see value in me then I will stay and serve out my term which ends in 2017. But even if I go, I’ll walk the streets with my head held high for leading Kenya to the top of the world in athletics,” he added.

Kiplagat said he had no regrets at being called a dictator and arrogant during his tenure at AK saying it would be impossible to achieve anything without being a strong leader. “Sometimes people call me arrogant and a dictator but let me tell you, in order to successfully run an organisation like Athletics Kenya you must have such attributes.

Some of these people are very hard to deal with especially regional chairmen who must be pushed all the time even to just give their calendar of events. Had I not been steadfast this federation would not be where it is today,” he said.

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