Thu, 02 Dec 2021

NAIROBI, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Retired steeplechase great Moses Kiptanui on Wednesday challenged Athletics Kenya (AK) to develop a new constitution that will align the sport with the modern age.

Kiptanui was among the star Kenyan athletes -past and present- that gathered in the Rift Valley town of Iten on Wednesday for a consultative meeting organized by AK to look into the issues affecting the sport following the brutal murder of Olympian Agnes Tirop in October.

The three-time world steeplechase champion who broke seven records in his glittering career told the gathering that most of the problems affecting Kenya's most successful sporting export stem from a constitution drafted in the 1950s.

Kiptanui said the AK constitution that was written in 1951 has not changed much. "If they are willing to change, we need a new constitution to move in the right direction. Gender Based Violence is not talking about women alone, there are men suffering silently but they do not want to come out. If we have a document that addresses that, some of these things we can put in the constitution," the Atlanta 96 Olympics silver winner remarked.

He urged the current crop of active athletes to secure their financial futures following rising cases of retired Kenyan runners falling into poverty. The Tokyo 91, Stuttgart 93 and Gothenburg 95 world champion believes Kenya's dominance in the waters and barriers race is not over despite the east African nation surrendering the Olympic steeplechase title to Morocco.

"We are not badly off as many people want to believe and Kenya's traditional sport can still be rescued despite a poor showing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games," he noted.

The issue of Gender Based Violence in Kenyan athletics has been amplified following the death of record holder Tirop in Iten last October with the estranged husband Ibrahim Rotich charged with her murder.

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