Olympic gold medallist heads candidates to become new President of Badminton World Federation

Monday, 25 February 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Poul-Erik Høyer-LarsenFebruary 25 - Denmark's Poul-Erik Høyer, the 1996 Olympic singles gold medallist, is among three candidates to be put forward as the new President of the Badminton World Federation, it was confirmed today. 

Høyer will take on Dato Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, President of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), and Indonesia's Justian Suhandinata at the BWF annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on May 18. 

Nadzmi was put forward by the BAM, Suhandinata, a BWF Council member, was nominated by the All Indonesia Badminton Association and Høyer-Larsen - the President of Badminton Europe - has been nominated by Badminton Denmark.

They will be seeking to replace BWF President Dr. Kang Young Joong of South Korea, who last December announced his decision not to seek a third term in office, saying "the time is right for transition now that BWF is in a stable position and on a positive path with good long-term strategies in place".

It has been speculated that 47-year-old Høyer, who also won three European titles during his career, made a late decision to stand in the hope of taking advantage of the Asian bloc being split by having two candidates to vote for.

Dato Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd SallehMalaysia's Dato Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh is one of three candidates to become the new BWF President

"The fact that Justian is also in the race means Asia will be split and this is probably the reason why Hoyer-Larsen jumped into the Presidential race but I have also received feedback that Europe is not 100 per cent behind the Dane," said the 58-year-old Nadzmi.

"There is always fear that Europe could unite on the current situation but members from Pan America, Oceania and Africa will be crucial in deciding the outcome of the elections.

"Asia is the live wire of badminton when it comes to popularity, sponsors, tournaments and I strongly believe the members would want the headquarters to remain here to help boost the profile of the sport.

"Denmark already has an influential office bearer in the BWF secretary general [Thomas Lund] and the members may not want the President to be from the same nation.

"This may work in Asia's favour."

Høyer has tried to ally Asian fears that if he is elected he will move the BWF's headquarters from Kuala Lumpur to Europe.

"I have the utmost respect for current president Dr. Kang Young Joong and his administration and, if elected, I do not see the need for any major changes," he said.

"The office is well situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in the heart of Asia where our sport has its stronghold."

Justian SuhandinataIndonesia's Justian Suhandinata will be standing for the second time to become President, having lost in 2001

The 67-year-old Suhandinata, a vice-president of the International Badminton Federation from 1993 to 2002, had stood for the top post in 2001 but was defeated by Thailan's Korn Dabbaransi.

For this election, Suhandinata claims already to have the support of several national federations, including India. 

Meanwhile, current BWF Deputy President, Paisan Rangsikitpho of the United States, is seeking re-election to that post. 

He will be opposed by Gustavo Salazar Delgado of Peru, a BWF Council member and the President of Badminton Pan Am.

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