(ATR) The longest-serving world sportsman in his position, the Mexican Olegario Vázquez Raña, was succeeded on Friday by the Russian Vladimir Lisin as president of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).
The Olympic athlete and former world record holder Vázquez Raña, who had been elected president for the first time in 1980, had announced in 2014 that he would not run for another term.
By acclamation, the 68th ISSF General Assembly in Munich bid farewell to its veteran leader by electing him as Honorary President, a title also granted to him by the Mexican Olympic Committee earlier this year.
The vote to replace him proved to be close between two ISSF vice presidents in Lisin, also president of the European Confederation, and the Italian Luciano Rossi.
Rossi managed to participate in the race after the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced to 20 weeks his suspension of three years imposed for breaking the ethical standards of the ISSF.
Lisin, who was publicly backed by Vázquez Raña, got 148 votes to 144 for Rossi.
A third candidate, Boutros Jalkh of Lebanon, withdrew on Thursday.
Lisin, 62, is a powerful Russian entrepreneur and chairman of one of the world’s leading steel making companies, NLMK Group.
With his triumph he becomes the seventh president of the ISSF since its foundation in 1907.
Before the vote, Lisin talked about the introduction of new committees to widen the representation within the decisional bodies of the ISSF, to make the role of continental confederations more significant and to increase the level of the shooting competitions.
"I don’t want to make empty electoral promises. There’s a lot of work to do for all of us. We should respect the interests of all federations and all continents."
"We will support all member federations who really intend to develop the shooting sport in their countries. My recent trips to America and Africa showed that we have a lot to do."
Lisin is now the fifth Russian national to take charge of an international sports organization.
The other four are: President of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) Vasily Shestakov, President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Alisher Usmanov, President of the International Federation of Bandy (FIB) Boris Skrynnik and President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Arkady Dvorkovich.
Another Russian national, Russia’s Oleg Matytsin, serves as the president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), which is set to unite in Russia’s Kranoyarsk early next year athletes from around the globe for the 2019 FISU Winter Universiade.
After the farewell of Vázquez Raña, who is an honorary member of the IOC, three representatives of Latin America remain as presidents of international federations: the Uruguayan Julio César Maglione (Swimming), the Brazilian Ary Graca (Volleyball) and the Argentinean Fernando Aguerre (Surfing).
With 161 votes out of 290, Alexander Ratner was elected as the new ISSF Secretary General and clearly outperformed the other two aspirants, Melis Giraud of Turkey (85 votes) and Javaid S. Lhodi of Pakistan (36 votes).
Two other candidates, György Nagy of Hungary and Hamed Safeeldin of Sudan, withdrew.
Ratner, 63, takes the seat held since 2010 by Germany’s Franz Schreiber. Schreiber did not seek re-election, as he retired on Friday after his report to the General Assembly.
Ratner, a Russian with German citizenship, has worked together with Lisin at the European Shooting Confederation, in the same roles, during the last five years.
Vice-President Gary Anderson (USA), who had served the federation for 40 years, also retired at age 79.
The four ISSF Vice-Presidents elected are: Kevin Kilty of Ireland (162 votes), Raninder Singh of India (161), Robert Mitchell of USA (153), and Wang Yifu of the People’s Republic of China, who was re-elected with 146 votes.
The ISSF General Assembly will continue on Saturday.
Reported by Miguel Hernandez.