Athletics Kenya emerged the biggest loser in the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) elections held on Friday.
At the same time, ‘fringe’ federations carried the day as a group allied to Waithaka Kioni, Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) President, calling themselves the ‘Third Force’ swept the boards.
Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei was among major casualties as he lost the position of second Vice President to Kioni, who bagged 13 votes against Tuwei’s 6.
Two-time World marathon champion Catherine Ndereba saw her bid to become one of the three elected committee members go up in smoke.
The race for Women Representative slot was also stiff for two-time New York Marathon winner Tegla Loroupe.
AK officials’ massive loss in the polls comes against a backdrop of highest number of medals Kenyan athletes have bagged in major outings.
At the Rio Olympics, for instance, athletics won all the 13 medals –six gold, six silver and a bronze.
Apart from medals, athletics take lions’ share in teams to big multi-sport championships like Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the All Africa Games.
What led to AK’s poor performance in the polls remains a riddle. Tuwei and Ndereba were aligned to Tergat’s team and campaigned under the ‘Team Change’ banner.
The team looked confident and looked set to take over the reins of Nock only for the situation to change completely with just hours before the polls.
The Tergat-allied team won one position only — first Deputy President that Shadrack Maluki won after beating Nahashon Randiak.
Sources say Tuwei’s failure may have resulted from his last-minute lobbying on the floor.
Apart from Athletics Kenya, the other biggest loser was Andrew Mudibo who lost the Secretary General post by one vote to incumbent Francis Paul.
But last-minute negotiations denied him two crucial votes as FK Paul retained his seat. Paul said he was delighted to be re-elected saying it resulted from his hard work in Nock.
He was the only official from the outgoing officials to be re-elected and he will be instrumental in Nock’s transition.
Football and rugby are other losers as their representatives lost out. The biggest winners were fringe sports like lawn tennis, shooting, golf and judo.