International Weightlifting Federation Announces Candidates for Executive Board Elections

Following the conclusion of the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) Executive Board meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, the IWF has published the list of candidates who have declared their interest in running in next month’s election. 119 candidates have been proposed by 72 countries for the available 37 positions that are open to election by the IWF Congress, which will be held May 29th-30th of this year.

The full and official list of candidates can he found here.

The IWF Executive Board consists of 16 people:

President, currently Dr. Tamas Ajan of Hungary
General Secretary, currently Ma Wenguang of China
1st Vice President, currently Nicu Vlad of Romania

5 additional Vice Presidents
8 additional Executive Board Members (including USAW Technical Director Pyrros Dimas)

At the Electoral College, every member country will send two delegates to cast a vote for the above positions. Each position is a separate ballot, so for example, if Dr. Ajan chooses to run for reelection to the Presidency, he only needs to win an election for the Presidency. He would not need to win a prior election. And vice versa: if elected as an Executive Board member, Dimas would be a board member only for his term.

Adding a new layer of intrigue, at last year’s IWF Congress in October 2016, the IWF Constitution and By-Laws were amended and approved by both the Executive Board and Congress. The new Constitution will provide a minimum of two positions solely for Women in the leadership of the IWF, one being a Vice President and the other an Executive Board member position.

Candidates who have announced their intentions for the Presidential election include:

  • Dr. Tamas Ajan (HUN) – Current IWF President, he has held the position since 2000. Previously he served as General secretary of the IWF since 1976
  • Mohamed Yousef Al-Mana (QAT) – Current President of the Asian Weightlifting Federation (AWF)
  • Wenguang Ma(CHN) – Current General Secretary of the IWF and President of the Chinese Weightlifting Federation
  • Ali Moradi (IRI) – Has served as President of the Iran Weightlifting Federation since 2015
  • Monico Puentevalla (PHI) – President Emeritus of the Philippine Weightlifting Federation 
  • Nicu Vlad (ROM) – Currently the 1st Vice President of the IWF, as well as the President of the Romania Weightlifting Federation. Three-time Olympic Medalist, including the Gold Medal in the 1984 Olympic Games.
  • Antonio Urso (ITA) – Current President of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF).

For the position of General Secretary, six men have been nominated for the position; this includes the aforementioned Ma, Moradi, and Vlad. Additionally

  • Attila Adamfi (HUN) – Current Director General of the IWF and an employee of the IWF for over 20 years.
  • Mohammad Jaloud (IRQ) – Current General Secretary of the AWF
  • Jose Carlos Quinones (PER) – Current Vice President of the IWF

In October of 2016, USA Weightlifting (USAW) announced the candidacy of President Ursula Papandrea for election. She is standing for both a seat as a Vice President and an Executive Board Member. To win a seat as a vice president, her vote tally would need to place her in the top five of all men and woman out of 27 candidates, or have the most votes of all three women who are entered in the election.

To win a seat as an Executive Board Member, her vote tally would need to place her in the top eight of all men and woman out of 51 candidates, or have the most votes of all five women who are entered in the election.

Also nominated for the positions of 1st Vice President, Vice President, and Executive Board Member is Maxim Agapitov, the current President of the Russian Weightlifting Federation.

Moira Lassen of Canada has been nominated for both Vice President and Executive Board Member; in 2013 she was the first woman elected to the IWF Executive Board and has served as the chair of the woman’s committee. Under her guidance, the IWF has worked to usher in an 8th weight class for woman to equal the amount of categories for men and woman.

Pyrros Dimas, three-time Olympic Champion and Technical Director within USAW, has been nominated to run for re-election of his Executive Board seat for his native country of Greece.  

In other campaigns, American Joe Triolo of New York City has been nominated to the IWF Technical Committee. Triolo, an IWF Category 1 referee, is seeking to win one of the eleven seats on the committee, and will be facing a field of 43 other candidates.

On the Coaching and Research Committee, American Dr. Kyle Pierce will be running for reelection. Dr. Pierce is the longtime director of the LSU-Shreveport Weightlifting Program, and is the personal coach of three-time USA Olympian Kendrick Farris. He is seeking to win one of the eleven seats on the committee and will be facing a field of 31 other candidates.

On the Medical Committee, American Dr. Mark Lavallee has been nominated for election. Dr. Lavallee has served as the Chairman of USAW’s sports medicine society since 2012, and prior was the co-chairman since 2007. He is seeking to win one of the eleven seats on the committee, and will be facing a field of 14 other candidates.

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