Former AK boss Isaiah Kiplagat to be buried Friday

Athletics Kenya former President, Isaiah Kiplagat at a past function at the Riadha house Federation ...
Athletics Kenya former President, Isaiah Kiplagat at a past function at the Riadha house Federation headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Kenya’s athletics scene has been thrust into mourning since long-serving Athletics Kenya (AK) President, Isaiah Kiplagat, passed away. A burial ceremony befitting his iconic status as a leading figurehead in Kenya’s sports administration has been set for Friday at his home in Eldoret.

Images of the fallen hero were on Tuesday splashed across local dailies and on social media as the funeral arrangements were unveiled, with more Kenyans, former colleagues and leaders still sharing heartfelt messages of condolence and expressing how dearly he will be missed.

In preparations for his final journey, a memorial service will be held at St. Francis Church, Karen on Wednesday at 11:00am (3+ GMT).

Also in his honuor, AK CEO Susan Kamau confirmed that AK Headquarters will remain closed for the second time in history for three working days, to give their employees enough time to celebrate the life of the man who was the main architect of Riadha House and who led the organisation for a record 24 years.

“Many of our staff are family people so they also need to know how their families will run during the time they will be away in Eldoret and that’s why we decided to give them time to organize themselves,” Kamau told Citizen Digital.

The last time the headquarters were closed was due to a 48-hour siege orchestrated by Professional Athletics Association of Kenya (PAAK) last November during a protest against the management led by Kiplagat before he was hounded out of office by the IAAF Ethics Board.

A large number of mourners are expected to flock his home in Kapseret, Eldoret and the federation is determined to have an organized funeral service.

“We are in constant communication with the family as we organize ourselves since we are also part of the family.

“For the time being we shall provide transport and make necessary arrangements for those who will be travelling to Kapseret, where he will be laid to rest. It’s quite a distance but we want to make it as smooth as it can be for everyone,” Kamau stated.

Kiplagat succumbed to cancer at the age of 72 years in his Karen home in Nairobi nine days ago after a long battle with the disease.

Mourners have been streaming to his Karen and Kapseret homes to pay respects and sign condolence books opened to celebrate the life of the revered and controversial leader who also established the Kenya Prisons athletics team as well as leading the Safari Rally Linited until when Kenya was struck off the World Rally Championships calender.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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