Chuene eyes top IAAF post

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene will relinquish his position as Africa Area Representative on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council.

This is in preparation for the eagerly awaited IAAF congress in Osaka, Japan, in August where new leaders will be elected by the 212 member countries and Chuene will stand as an individual.

The elections, which take place every four years, will mark the opening of the prestigious World Championships in Athletics where the cream of the world will be on display.

The 24-member council is the highest decision-making body of the world athletics governing body that is led by Senegalese Lamine Diack. Diack has been nominated unopposed for the post.

"It is true that after consultation with my African brothers and sisters I have decided to relinquish the position of Africa Area Representative on the council [held] for the past eight years," said Chuene yesterday.

"The support that I received from my continent has been overwhelming. I have decided to go to Osaka in August where I will be contesting the elections as an individual.

"Some of us have learnt a lot from our former president Nelson Mandela, I just thought I should give the other guys on the continent a chance to also serve on the council as Area Representative."

The influential Chuene, who was elected to serve as Africa Area Representative during an African Athletics Confederations congress in Senegal eight years ago, has been invited by the Asian federations to be their guest of honour this weekend. The Asian federations will be having their general assembly in Jordan on July 28 and 29.

"They are aware that I have decided to stand as an individual and invited me to be part of them during their gathering, which I must say is a great honour for me," said Chuene, who is leaving on Thursday.

Chuene, who has been used by Diack to resolve the disputes in Africa, was in Europe last week to canvass for support but had to cut short his visit because of a death in the family.

Chuene's mother-in-law, Salaminah Sello of Mofolo, died last week and will be buried at Lenasia Cemetery in Soweto on Thursday.