Beijing: Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla was on Wednesday elected as one of the members of the prestigious Council of the IAAF, the global governing body of the sport, in its polls held here.
Sumariwalla, an Olympian 100m runner, was elected as one of the nine individual members of the all-powerful IAAF Council at the 50th Congress of the world athletics body held ahead of the start of the World Athletics Championships (August 22-30).
57-year-old Sumariwalla is the fourth Indian get a seat at IAAF Council. He got 61 votes in the second round to get elected.
Before him, former International Olympic Committee member Guru Dutt Sondhi (1950-56), former president of Asian Athletics Association Umrao Singh (1972-76) and former Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi (2001-13) had become members of the IAAF Council.
Kalmadi and Umrao were members of the IAAF Council by virtue of being the chiefs of the Asian Athletics Association and not through an election.
The Commonwealth Games scam-tainted Kalmadi lost his seat as an ordinary member of the IAAF Council after he was defeated in the AAA presidential elections to Dahlan Al-Hamad of Qatar in Pune in 2013.
"Thanks to all who believed in me, encouraged me and ran my campaign," Sumariwalla said after his election.
"This is a tribute to the trust that India enjoys in the globe today. I thank all the members of the athletics fraternity in India, my colleagues in the AFI for extending their indefatigable support for my campaign, my friends from all the Member-nation who reposed their faith in me and the newly-elected IAAF President, Lord Sebastian Coe. This will further inspire me to strengthen Indian athletics and take it to greater heights," he added.
Sumariwalla will be in the council to be headed by former Olympic 1500m champion Sebastian Coe of Britain who was today elected as the sixth IAAF chief after defeating Sergey Bubka of Ukraine by 115 to 92 votes in the presidential polls which was taken part by 207 members.
58-year-old Coe will take office on August 31, after the end of the World Championships, from Lamine Diack of Senegal who will demit office after 16 years at the helm of affairs since 1999.