Japan’s Watanabe elected president of International Gymnastics Federation

Tokyo, Oct 20 (IANS) Japan’s Morinari Watanabe has been elected the new President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) after he beat rival candidate Georges Guelzec of France by a huge margin in a vote at the governing body’s Congress.

The Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA) secretary-general won 100 of the 119 votes, with Guelzec, the head of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG), receiving 19 here on Thursday, reports Xinhua.

The 57-year-old becomes the ninth President of the FIG since it was established in 1881 and will succeed Bruno Grandi, who had held the position for 20 years.

Watanabe is due to officially take charge on January 1, with the 82-year-old Italian’s mandate coming to an end in December.

Three vice-presidents were elected following Watanabe’s win.

Russia’s Vasily Titov, the only incumbent in the race, was selected as first vice-president after securing 68 votes in the first round.

The Russian will be joined by five-time Olympic champion Nellie Kim of Belarus, who prevailed in the second round with 64 votes, and China’s Luo Chaoyi, who received 50.

Germany’s Wolfgang William and Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist of Sweden were both unsuccessful in round two, while George Tatai of Australia and Venezuela’s Zobeira Hernandez withdrew following the first round.

–IANS

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