Japan’s Watanabe elected president of gymnastics federation

Morinari Watanabe of Japan was elected as the president of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) at the world governing body’s congress in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The 57-year-old Watanabe, the secretary general of the Japan Gymnastics Association, received 100 of 119 votes in an election against France’s Georges Guelzec, head of the European Union of Gymnastics.

Watanabe will replace 82-year-old Italian Bruno Grandi, who is stepping down as president in December after 20 years in charge.

Watanabe becomes the first Asian to head FIG and is the first Japanese president of an Olympic international federation since Ichiro Ogimura was president of the International Table Tennis Federation from 1987-1994.

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