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New IAAF era includes gender and age requirements, term limits


BEIJING – Wednesday’s elections at the IAAF Congress, which saw all five USATF candidates elected to the positions for which they were running, brought a host of changes in IAAF governance and Council representation. Those changes include term limits for the President, age limits for Council members, and gender diversity among Vice Presidents.

The IAAF Congress voted for three significant changes to the IAAF leadership structure:

  • At least one of the four Vice Presidents must be female
  • An IAAF President cannot serve for more than three consecutive, four year terms (12 years total)
  • IAAF Council candidates who reach the age of 70 prior to an election year cannot be elected or re-elected

Furthering the era of change, seven new Council members were elected Wednesday, including Stephanie Hightower (USA), Mikhail Butov (RUS), Hiroshi Yokokawa (JPN), Adille Sumariwalla (IND), Svein Arne Hansen (NOR), Antti Pihlakoski (FIN) and Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud (KSA). Hightower, Butov and Yokokawa assumed seats previously held by others in their federations, while India, Norway, Finland and Saudi Arabia gained seats.


Countries losing seats were Kenya, typically the #2 medal-winning country at championship events; Germany, the largest federation by membership; Switzerland; and Poland.

For general news from the IAAF Congress, visit

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