‘GOLDEN GIRL’ Pauline Davis-Thompson (sixth from right) has been re-elected to serve as an individual member of the IAAF. Here, she can be seen with Bahamian participants at the IAAF Congress.
By RENALDO DORSETT
THE IAAF World Championships begin on Friday, but the Bahamas is already making history in Beijing at the administrative level as a prelude to what happens on the track and in the field.
Several Bahamians were elected to prominent positions, or awarded for their service to the sport at the 50th IAAF Congress hosted at the Chinese National Convention Centre in Beijing, China.
Leading the list was Pauline Davis-Thompson who was re-elected to the IAAF Council. She finished with 141 votes, sixth among the nine elected individual council members.
Dennis Marshall was also elected to the IAAF Women’s Committee and Frank “Pancho” Rahming was awarded the IAAF Veterans Pin.
On her Facebook fan page, Davis-Thompson thanked her supporters throughout the international community and called it “a great day for the Bahamas.”
Davis-Thompson was first elected in 2007 as the second Bahamian to sit on the IAAF Council behind Alpheus ‘Hawk’ Finlayson, who got his historic position in 1999.
She fills the seat for one of the six seats on the female individual members and one of the nine seats on the individual members that will make up the IAAF Council that includes the president, four vice presidents and the treasurer.
Marshall filled one of five male spots or one of the eight as a member of the IAAF women’s committee, and elected a chairperson out of five candidates.
In a move several years ago by former BAAA president Dr Bernard Nottage, it was agreed, accepted and passed by the IAAF that there will be only “one vote, one nation,” which evens the playing field for those biggest countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany to the smaller countries like the Caribbean nations.
Elections for the president, vice presidents, treasurer, female individual council members (six), individual council members and the four committees of the IAAF (Technical, Women’s, Race Walking and Cross Country) also took place.
Former middle distance runner Sebastian Coe, of the United Kingdom, was elected as president to lead the international governing body of the sport as he beat out former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka of the Ukraine.
Immediate past IAAF president Lamine Diack did not seek re-election. Diack, a former long jumper from Dakar, Senegal, was first elected as president on November 8, 1999 and he was re-elected to his second term on October 16, 2011.
Decisions on day one of the Congress also included amendments to the IAAF competitions rules relating to the sections concerning eligibility, anti-doping and medical, disputes and technical.
Reports were submitted by the four committees of the IAAF, the 13 Commissions, the six area group associations as well as reports from the organising committees of the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Full membership of the IAAF was confirmed for the federations of Kosovo and South Sudan and the federation of Gabon was suspended.
Several very influential proposals were also passed by Congress, including a maximum three-year term for IAAF presidents, a minimum of one male or female vice president, and maximum age of 70 for IAAF council members seeking re-election.