Dear Member Federation Delegates,
As you know the Electoral Congress is one of the biggest, most important and exciting administrative event in the world of weightlifting. TAWA Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association held a very well-organized, brilliant gathering in Bangkok.
I would like to express my gratitude to Mrs. Boossaba, TAWA President and Maj. Gen. Intarat Yodbangtoey IWF 1st Vice President for the excellent organization as well as for all the 157 Member Federation Delegates participated at the Electoral Congress in Thailand, May 29-30th.
Congratulations to all the candidates who were elected to become a Member of the Executive Board and all the different Committees. All elected Members are actively contribute to the future of weightlifting what is governed on the highest level of leadership by the Committees.
I hope as an active member you will work hard and efficient to keep weightlifting at its highest standard in the future.
Dr. Tamas AJAN
IOC Honorary Member
- Ursula Papandrea becomes first female Vice President of the IWF:
Papandrea has become the first woman ever to sit as a Vice President of the IWF after being elected. She was an international lifter in the 1990s before becoming a top coach and, last year, President of USA Weightlifting. In 2003 she became the first and only senior international coach in the United States who is a woman.
With one place among the five Vice Presidents guaranteed for a woman – a first in the IWF’s 112-year history – Papandrea defeated her sole rival Moira Lassen, of Canada, by 84 votes to 55. Colombian Ana Camacho withdrew.
She retired from international competition in 1996, four years before women’s events were added to the Olympic programme.
“Very few women from that period actually made it to the Olympics,” said Papandrea, whose best friend Robyn Byrd-Goade is the only person who competed at both the first Women’s World Championship in 1987 and the first Women’s Olympic classes at Sydney in 2000.
“But when you are in a movement like that you are not seeking personal benefit.”
“We were working to get women noticed internationally, performing internationally.”
Papandrea’s main aims in her new role centre on anti-doping and inclusivity.
“My specific goals are to continue what’s already been started in anti-doping and also to do some image repair, as we are suffering image problems because of the doping scandals,” she said.
“This win for me says something about the delegate membership, because they have voted for me in the knowledge that I am from a country well known for being strongly against doping.”
As for inclusivity, Papandrea wants the sport to be more accessible to more countries, especially in Africa and South America, and to see a bigger spread of nations winning medals at major championships.
- Finland’s Karoliina Lundahl was voted in onto the Executive Board of the IWF:
After the withdrawal of Moira Lassen, the Canadian who became the IWF’s first female Executive Board member in 2013, Lundahl was a clear winner. It is the first time two women have sat on the 21-strong Executive Board.
During her career, Lundahl took part in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in the shot put before switching to weightlifting in 1998 when women’s competitions were introduced to the programme at Sydney 2000.
In weightlifting, she won two World Championship titles at Istanbul in 1994 in the over 83 kilogram category and four years later on home ground in Lahti when she topped the 75kg contest.
She then became an international coach and is head of the coaching and education at the Finnish Weightlifting Federation.
In addition to her World Championship crowns, Lundahl won the 1994 at European title at 83kg.