Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. has been elected first vice-president of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) at the first full meeting of the world governing body’s new Executive Board.
The Spaniard, who became a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board last year, succeeds Mexico’s Ivar Sisniega.
He is the son of Juan Antonio Samaranch, who served as the seventh President of the IOC from 1980 to 2001.
“I am very happy with the results and the main objectives that were achieved by UIPM at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” Samaranch, who has been a member of the UIPM Board since 1984, said.
Chaired by UIPM President Klaus Schormann at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the meeting also featured a visit from IOC counterpart Thomas Bach, who addressed the Board and expressed his satisfaction for UIPM following and applying the principles of Agenda 2020.
He also briefed the Board on the future of the Olympic Games and the measures the IOC are said to be taking to protect clean athletes.
The final appointments to the Executive Board confirmed that there will be four female members in office during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle.
Belarus’ Natalia Ofitserova takes her place after being elected as chair of the UIPM Medical Committee, replacing Italy’s Fabio Pigozzi, who is President of the UIPM Anti-Doping Panel.
Ofitserova, who has been a member of the Medical Committee since 2000, joins UIPM secretary general Shiny Fang of China, Oceania Confederation President Kitty Chiller of Australia and Athletes’ Committee chair Aya Medany of Egypt on the new-look Executive Board.
Another appointment to the UIPM hierarchy was confirmed when Russia’s Viacheslav Aminov was re-elected as vice-president for business affairs.
South Korea’s Kuisung Choi, whose vice-presidency of the UIPM came to a conclusion in 2016, became a UIPM honorary life member.
Schormann also proposed a number of appointments to UIPM committees and commissions, all of which were approved by the Board.
The UIPM claims its Global Engagement Program, aimed at growing the global popularity of its sports, continues to progress with key advances in three primary areas.
It was unanimously agreed at the meeting that the mixed relay format, which the UIPM is striving to have included in future Olympic programs from Tokyo 2020 onward, will include obstacle course racing as part of the laser-run discipline.
Secondly, it was reported to the Board that more than 50 cities have registered for the new UIPM Laser-Run Global City Tour, which is due to begin in Mauritius’ capital Port Louis on March 10.
Fang also briefed the Board on the agreement signed last month with Pro-Active Broadcast, which will manage and distribute the broadcast and webstream output from UIPM events during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The UIPM stated that Eurosport, the new home of the Olympic Games in Europe, have committed to taking all available output from Pro-Active.
It is hoped the sport will reach a broader audience with the live broadcast of the 2017 World Cup Final in Lithuania in June and the 2017 World Championships in Egypt in September.
“This was a very important work session with the new Executive Board during which we appointed Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr as first vice-president of the UIPM,” Schormann said at the end of the meeting.
“We also had budgetary discussions and we had the pleasure of a visit from Thomas Bach, who briefed us on the whole movement of the IOC linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.