By Duncan Mackay

Paul Tergat head and shouldersNovember 16 - Former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat is to be put forward to be a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). 

The 43-year-old, who held the world record between 2003 and 2007, is being proposed by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) to replace Kip Keino, who had to retire from the IOC at the end of 2010 after reaching the maximum age limit of 70 for those elected as members after 1999.

The decision was taken by the NOCK at its annual meeting in Nairobi. 

"I will be handing the papers soon to IOC for consideration since he meets all the requirements," said Keino.

Tergat, a captain in the Kenyan Air Force, is one of the greatest distance runners in history who won five consecutive World Cross Country Championship titles between 1995 and 1999.

He also won consecutive World Half-Marathon Championships in 1999 and 2000 and set a world record for the marathon of 2 hours 4min 55sec at Berlin in 2003.

Paul Tergat sets world record Berlin Marathon 2003Paul Tergat sets a world record at the Berlin Marathon in 2003

But Tergat never won a major title on the track because his career coincided with Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie being at the peak of his powers.

Tergat finished second to him in the 10,000 metres at consecutive Olympics at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000 and successive World Championships at Athens in 1997 and Seville in 1999.

Away from the track Tergat has his own sports marketing company and runs a foundation which helps disadvantaged sportsmen and women in Kenya. 

He is also a United Nations ambassador because he claims that he would not have received a full education when he was younger if it had not been for the World Food Programme.

The IOC is due to choose up to four new members next year who will be put forward at its Session in Buenos Aires in September.

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