Former stars Sebastian Coe and Sergei Bubka were yesterday elected vice presidents of the world governing athletics body IAAF, with president Lamine Diack confirmed for a final term.
The Senegalese Diack ran unopposed, receiving 167 votes at the 46th IAAF Congress ahead of the world championships. Nine members voted against him.
Diack became IAAF president in 1999 after the death of longtime supremo Primo Nebiolo of Italy.
The Ukrainian Bubka, a six-time world champion and world record holder in the pole vault, and the Olympic middle distance champion Coe of Britain received 167 and 137 votes respectively.
They were elected from six candidates along with Dahlan Al-Hamad of Qatar and American Robert Hersh as vice-presidents. Helmut Digel of Germany and Amadeo Francis of Puerto Rico were not elected.
The vice-presidency is seen as a stepping stone for when Diack steps down in 2011. But Coe and Bubka dismissed this yesterday.
Both had the backing of Diack, who in turn has their support as he aims to make athletics an appealing sport for youngsters again at a time when many young people prefer other sports like soccer.
"The really important issue is uniting the sport at youth level. We have to get more creative way to get to young people," said Coe, who is also head of London's organizing committee for the 2012 Olympics.
The IAAF Congress concludes today ahead of Saturday's start of the 11th world athletics championships in Osaka's Nagain stadium. A record 203 countries are to participate in the championships.