Bahamian participants at the IAAF Congress are pictured with newly elected president, Sebastian Coe (fourth from left). Shown (l-r) are Frank “Pancho” Rahming, Foster Dorsett, Pauline Davis-Thompson, Sebastian Coe, Mike Sands and Carl Oliver.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
‘GOLDEN GIRL’ Pauline Davis-Thompson got another feather in her cap. She was re-elected to serve as an individual member of the International Amateur Athletic Federation.
At the elections held on the first day of the 50th IAAF Congress at the Chinese National Convention Centre in Beijing yesterday, Davis-Thompson accumulated the fourth highest votes of the 10 candidates for the six seats on the female individual members. Her total of 141 also turned out to be the sixth highest of the 39 candidates for the 15 members selected.
It turned out to be a historic day for the Bahamas as Dennis Marshall was also elected to serve on the Women’s Committee as a male candidate. And also during the congress, veteran coach Frank ‘Pancho’ Rahming was awarded the Veterans’ Pin for his long and dedicated service to the sport over the years.
Davis-Thompson, who was first elected in 2011, followed American Stephanie Hightower, the highest female vote getter with 163, Nawal El Mountawakel with 160 and Anna Riccardi of Italy with 151. The other females elected were Abby Hoffman of Canada with 140 and Sylvia Barlag of the Netherlands with 117. Davis-Thompson was the second Bahamian elected to the IAAF, following Alpheus ‘Hawk’ Finlayson, who was voted in as a council member in 1999.
Hightower also garnered the highest votes for the individual members list, followed by Mountawakel and Riccardi in fourth place. Ahmad Al Kamali had the third highest votes with 156 and Zhaocai Du of China had the fifth highest total with 148.
The other members elected are Frank Fredericks of Nambia with 125, Hiroshi Yokokawa of Japan with 98, Antti Pihlakoski of Finland with 84, Bernard Amsalem of France with 75, Mikhail Butov of Russia with 69, Adille Sumariwalla of India with 61 and Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud of the Republic of South Africa with 55.
They all join the IAAF Council that will now be headed by Sebastian Coe of Great Great Britain. Coe, the former world record holder in the 800 metres, has replaced Lamine Diack of Senegal as the new president, beating out former world pole vault record holder Sergey Bubka from the Ukraine.
Bubka was elected as one of the four vice presidents with a total of 187 votes. The other three vice presidents are Dahlan Al Hamad of Qatar with 159, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum of Cameroon with 115 and Alberto Juantorena Danger of Cuba with 111.
Elected to serve as the treasurer is Jose Maria Odriozola of Spain.
Also making up the council are the four area representatives, inclusive of Svein Arne Hansen of Norway for Europe, Victor Lopez of Puerto Rico for NACAC, Geoffrey Gardner for the Oceania and Roberto Gesta de Melo of Brazil for South America.
The members were elected to serve for the next four years from 2015-2019.
Coming out of the congress, the committee held decisions on the amendments to the IAAF competitions rules relating to the sections concerning eligibility, anti-doping and medical, disputes and technical.
Also, the 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 and the full membership of the IAAF was confirmed for the federations of Kosovo and South Sudan.
A number of proposals were also passed by Congress, including the following: Of the four vice presidents, there has to be a minimum of one from each gender, an IAAF President cannot serve for more than three consecutive four year terms and the IAAF Council candidates who reached the age of 70 during year of an election congress can not be elected or re-elected.
The congress and elections were held on the eve of the IAAF World Championships scheduled to get underway on Saturday. The Bahamas will be represented by a 25-member team.