Olympic gold medallist Rolland to be new FISA president

Geneva, Sep 3 (IANS) French Olympic gold medallist Jean-Christophe Rolland has been elected International Rowing Federation (FISA) president and will replace Denis Oswald at the top of the sport's world governing body in July 2014.

The 45-year-old Sydney 2000 coxless pairs champion garnered 117 of the 179 ballots cast at the 2013 Ordinary Congress Monday in Chungju, South Korea, ahead of Australian John Boultbee and Canada's Tricia Smith, who got 50 and 12 votes, respectively, Monday.

Having led FISA since 1989, Oswald, who is running for Presidency of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announced that he would step down at the organization's 2013 Extraordinary Congress earlier this year, reports Xinhua.

The Congress unanimously elected Swiss Oswald as FISA Honorary President for Life "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to rowing over the past 36 years".

Rolland, a former rowing world champion and three-time Olympian, was appointed to the FISA Athletes' Commission in 1994, serving as chair from 2002 to 2011, and served on the Executive Committee from 2004 to 2011 - at which time the FISA Council appointed him as a co-opted member.

Despite failing to secure the FISA Presidency, Smith did manage to depose American Anita DeFrantz as vice-president.

Smith took 98 of the 178 possible votes ahead Montreal 1976 women's eight bronze medallist DeFrantz, an IOC member who had held the post since 1993.

The national rowing federations of Benin, Botswana, Mali, Saudi Arabia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were also admitted as new members of FISA, bringing the total number of member federations to 142.


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