European Athletics picks Cherry to fill female VP vacancy
Cherry Alexander, the British athletics executive, has been elected as only the second-ever vice-president of European Athletics, the sport's continental governing body.
Alexander, the head of international and televised events at UK Athletics, who was managing director of the London 2017 IAAF World Championships, was elected into office at the European Athletics congress in Prague on Saturday, where the federation's president Svein Arne Hansen was, as expected, re-elected unopposed for a second four-year term.
To ensure a gender balance, there was a requirement of at least one man and one woman to be elected as European Athletics vice-presidents
Alexander follows Austria's Erika Strasser as only the second female to hold the position in the 49-year history of the governing body. Strasser was vice-president from 1991 to 1995.
Hansen said: "It is a historic day."
Bulgaria's Dobromir Karamarinov and Czech Republic's Libor Varhanik were also elected as vice-presidents.
In addition, 13 council members were elected in Prague, with the rules requiring that these include at least three women.
Those elected were: Slobodan Brankovic (Serbia); Nadya But-Husaim (Belarus); Raul Chapado (Spain); Fatih Cintimar (Turkey); Jean Gracia (France); Karin Grute Movin (Sweden); Marton Gyulai (Hungay); Frank Hensel (Germany); Anna Kirnova (Slovakia); Dimakos Panagiotis (Greece); Antti Pihlakoski (Finland); Sonja Spendelhofer (Austria); and Erich Teigamägi (Estonia).
With the election of But-Husaim, Grute Movin, Kirnova and Spendelhofer, in addition to Alexander, it will be the first time European Athletics has five women on its council.Hansen will now serve until 2023, after the veteran Norwegian revealed 12 months ago that he was ready to stand for another term in the role, despite having insisted, when elected in April 2015, that he would lead European Athletics for one term only.Much of Hansen’s first term in office was dominated by the doping scandal in Russian athletics that broke in 2015. In 2017, Hansen ran into trouble with a controversial proposal to expunge track and field world records set before 2005, in a bid to rewrite records that could have been affected by doping.
The proposals are on the backburner for now after provoking a backlash from some of the sport’s most respected athletes.