IWF Elections – Jaloud is the new IWF President

After the election congress of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) took place in Tirana, Albania, in the past two days, Mohamed Jaloud was elected as the new IWF president. He is now expected to safeguard the future of weightlifting with a new team behind him.

These were probably the most important elections in the history of the International Weightlifting Federation. In Tirana, Albania, the new leadership of the IWF was elected in the past two days, which is now to ensure reforms and an Olympic future for the sport.

The new president is Mohamed Jaloud, an experienced man who himself was a weightlifter for 13 years and held the post of IWF general secretary for the past five years. Jaloud is a native of Iraq and also holds citizenship in Kazakhstan. He is thus the first Asian president in the history of the IWF.

Elected president without counting votes

The weightlifting world had to wait over a year for these elections and although the IWF has now elected a new president at the top, the appointment did not go off without incident. For example, Jaloud had initially wanted to withdraw after the vote was cast, but his long-time ally Yousef Al-Mana from Qatar protested against this and withdrew his candidacy himself, thus clearing the way for the new president. Because before voting had begun at the special and electoral congress, the other nine of the eleven presidential candidates had already withdrawn, so Jaloud was ultimately declared the winner without a count.

The Iraqi can now count among his new team the U.S. American Ursula Papandrea, who was elected first vice president and had already tried to push through reforms two years ago as interim president of the IWF. Like the newly appointed Vice President Attila Adamfi, she has good relations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and will use them to secure the Olympic future of weightlifting.

The three other vice presidents elected last weekend were Pyrros Dimas from Greece, Petr Krol from the Czech Republic and Doris Travieso from Venezuela. The ten new board members, meanwhile, comprise German weightlifting president Florian Sperl, Sam Coffa from Australia, Hirome Miyaki from Japan, Matthew Curtain from Great Britain, Tom Liaw from Singapore, Mohammed Alharbi from Saudi Arabia, Fathi Masmoudi from Tunisia, Yassiny Esquivel from Costa Rica, Gardencia Du Plooy from South Africa and Wen Hsin (Meco) Chang from Taiwan.

German weightlifting president Florian Sperl was elected to the executive board of the International Weightlifting Federation.

One appointment that the IOC will certainly not approve of, however, is the election of Jose Quinones of Peru as secretary general. Quinones had been banned for five years by a Peruvian sports administration court for alleged financial mismanagement – but this period has now expired.

Bring about “positive changes”

With his new team, the new president Jaloud is now ready to push through a change in weightlifting as well as bring about “positive change.” After all, he says, the large number of new faces on the IWF board, as well as the much stronger representation of women, is an important step in the right direction. Twelve new members, for example, were elected to the board, representing “a 66 percent change in leadership,” according to the IWF.

The number of women on the Executive Board has also increased significantly. Instead of the required minimum of three, six women have been appointed. In addition to Papandrea from the USA, they include Hirome Miyaki from Japan, Karoliina Lundahl from Finland, Doris Marrero from Venezuela, Gardencia du Plooy from South Africa and Yassiny Esquivel from Costa Rica.

“I’m looking forward to getting started with my new team. We have received the trust of our members to bring about positive change, and that is something I am committed to. I’ve already had the opportunity to speak with my team, who are ready to get to work and accomplish good things for our sport. We have much stronger representation of women and athletes than ever before, and we are all focused on the future of weightlifting and making sure we work with our Olympic partners,” said Jaloud, the new IWF president.

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