By Sports Reporter/Doha
Qatar’s Dahlan al-Hamad was re-elected as President of the Asian Athletics Association for the four-year term of 2019-2023 at the Asian Athletics Congress in Doha yesterday.
Al-Hamad dedicated the victory to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Al-Hamad, who is also the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-president besides being the director general of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 Local Organising Committee (LOC), received 30 votes while the Jordanian candidate Saad al-Hiyasat received 13.
He also offered his gratitude to all the 45 member federations for trusting in his leadership and he vowed to continue his work to take all member federation together to develop and strengthen Asian Athletics.
For the first time in the history of Asian Athletics, four women members were also elected on the governing council, including China’s Wang Nan as one of the five vice-presidents, and Stepanisheva Tatyana of Turkmenistan, Mala Sakonhninhom of Laos and Filomena Barros Dos Reis of Timor-Leste as members.
Talking about his re-election, al-Hamad said the battle was not easy and its sweeping outcome clearly demonstrates Qatar’s great status.
He said that the victory is not his alone, and that the continent has chosen what’s best for Asian athletics in the future.
He added that Qatar’s leadership has always taught its people tolerance. In that spirit, he said that he would like everyone to join hands to develop the sport, irrespective of what happened before the elections.
The United Arab Emirates officially refused to send their athletes for the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships, which will begin at the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium today, and will conclude on Wednesday.
In a case of mixing sports with politics, Emirati official Nasser al-Maamari had made the trip to the Qatari capital to participate in the elections even as their athletes were deprived of a golden opportunity for some valuable preparations in a crucial IAAF World Athletics Championships year, which will be held at the same venue in September.
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