TORUŃ, Poland (June 19) – Four-time Olympic sabre gold medallist Stanislav Pozdnyakov has been elected President of the European Fencing Confederation (EFC).
At the EFC Congress in Toruń, Poland, on Sunday, the 42-year-old Russian beat French Fencing Federation Secretary General Catherine Defoligny, the only other candidate, by 27 votes to 17 in a single round.
“I would like to express my thanks to the Congress,” said Pozdnyakov, a 10-time world champion and former Vice President of the EFC.
“The next four years we will work hard together to do the best we can for European fencing.”
Pozdnyakov, who was elected to the International Fencing Federation’s Executive Committee in 2012, added: “I would like to thank Catherine Defoligny for the fair competition.”
Pozdnyakov starts his four-year term immediately, succeeding Israel’s Vladimir Shklar at the helm of fencing’s governing body in Europe, which unites all 45 of the continent’s national federations.
Shklar took the EFC Presidency in a temporary capacity following the untimely death of incumbent Frantisek Janda in November.
The other runners, Shklar and the president of the Spanish Fencing Federation, Marco Rioja, withdrew their candidacies ahead of the voting.
Pozdnyakov is one of fencing’s most successful athletes. He won individual and team gold at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, and team gold at Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000. He amassed 10 world championship gold medals from the 1994 edition in Athens through to St. Petersburg in 2007.
Since retiring from competition, Pozdnyakov has held a number of roles within fencing: In 2008 he became senior coach for the Russian national team and the following year he was appointed First Deputy President of the Russian Fencing Federation. He represents the Executive Committee in the FIE Coaches Council.
The elections took place on the eve of the European Fencing Championships, which run June 20-26 in Toruń.
The European Fencing Confederation is one of five continental confederations under the FIE. The President of the Pan American Fencing Confederation (CPE) is Vitaly Logvin. The President of the Oceanian Fencing Confederation is Helen Smith, while the African Fencing Confederation President is Mbagnick Ndiaye. The Asian Fencing Confederation President is Celso L. Dayrit.
All confederation presidents are members of the International Fencing Federation’s Executive Committee.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov (Russian Fencing Federation)
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