FIG names first new President in 20 years - Morinari Watanabe
20th October 2016, 00:00a.m.
Morinari Watanabe (JPN) was named the next President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Wednesday after a landslide election victory at the FIG Congress in Tokyo where Gymnastics Ireland CEO, Ciaran Gallagher and Gymnastics Ireland Chairman, Ger Rellis were in attendance to register the Irish votes.
Mr. Watanabe, 57, currently Secretary General of the Japan Gymnastics Association and an FIG Executive Committee member, will take up his new functions on January 1, 2017, succeeding Bruno Grandi (ITA), who has led the FIG for 20 years.
He will be the ninth President of the FIG, the oldest Olympic sports federation, founded in 1881.
Mr Watanabe was elected by obtaining 100 votes from the member federations gathered in Tokyo, against 19 votes for Georges Guelzec (FRA), the only other candidate for the Presidency.
“The time has come now for innovation in Gymnastics. Today we sent a strong message to the world. Our Gymnastics is not a sport that is popular only at the Olympic Games. Gymnastics is now and will be the king of sports.”
There to witness the historic event was Gymnastics Ireland CEO, Ciaran Gallagher – quote
Following the election of the new FIG President, the Congress was called to choose his three Vice Presidents. Vasily Titov (RUS), five-time Olympic champion Nellie Kim (BLR) and Luo Chaoyi (CHN).
Following the Vice Presidency results, the Congress then chose it’s FIG Executive Committee;
- Nataliya Kuzmina re-elected President of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee
- Horst Kunze (GER) re-elected President of the FIG Trampoline Technical Committee
- Sergio Garcia Alcazar (ESP) elected President of the FIG Aerobic Technical Committee
- Rosy Taeymans (BEL) re-elected President of the FIG Acrobatic Technical Committee
- Donatella Sacchi (ITA) elected President of the FIG Women’s Technical Committee
- Steve Butcher (USA) re-elected President of the FIG Men’s Technical Committee
- Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist (SWE) re-elected President of the FIG Gymnastics for All Technical Committee
The full election results are here: http://bit.ly/2dzWUzs