August 24, 2016: At age of 72 years, Isaiah Kiplagat Koech who battled cancer for years, took a final bow at his Karen home shortly before 9am on Wednesday morning. The Athletics Kenya Boss Isaiah Kiplagat was one of the longest-serving sports administrators in the country, having worked in various capacities at Athletics Kenya (AK) for the last four decades.
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Things you didn’t know about Isaiah Kiplagat Koech
What age was Isaiah Kiplagat Koech?
Isaiah Kiplagat Koech was born on 12th November 1944 and bought up in a humble background in Nandi, Rift Valley where he grew up in the village herding cattle.
Love him or hate him, Kiplagat, who was fondly known as “Fundi” by his peers, endeared himself to both friends and foes as a shrewd administrator, who worked his way out of difficult situations to retain his position as Athletics Kenya chief since 1992 before stepping down last year.
Isaiah Kiplagat Koech started schooling in the 1950s following his mother’s intervention, joining Kapsabet High School School, and later going through a police training programme. This would, perhaps, later inform his authoritative leadership style. Upon graduation he was hired as a cadet officer with the Kenya Prisons from the police training programme and later promoted and authorised to open and spearhead a new police post in Naivasha. Later in 1966, he Left for the UK for further education in management studies. Though it remains unclear to date whether he’d travelled on a scholarship programme or on personal funds.
The fearless and visionary sports administrator,Upon his return from the UK in 1975, he landed a job as a Nairobi council worker before joining Athletics Kenya and being appointed vice-chairman and in 1976 was elected the secretary general of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).Early 2000’s he was appointed as the managing director of Post Bank, getting an opportunity to build networks within the government. Serves for four years and retires at the end of his term.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence to the family of long serving athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat. Uhuru said his thoughts and prayers are with Kiplagat’s family, relatives and friends.
“May God give you the strength and grace to bear the loss”, the statement read in part.
Former AK secretary-general and vice president David Okeyo, who eulogised Kiplagat as a fearless and visionary sports administrator, said he received a call from Kiplagat’s family at 9.30am shortly after he had died/passed on.
“They wanted me in Nairobi immediately,” said Okeyo, who was speaking from Kisumu. “It’s sad to receive such news in the morning and my condolences to the family.”