By Duncan Mackay

Jose Perurena profile shotNovember 17 - Spain's Jose Perurena has been re-elected as the President of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) after standing unopposed at the Congress in St Petersburg. 

The 67-year-old, who competed at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, had been elected as ICF President in 2008. 

Since then he has also been elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee. 

He polled 93 votes as he was given another four year term by the ICF, with nine abstentions. 

"Thank you for your support," said Perurena.

"It's an honour that you have entrusted me to continue to develop the sport for the next four years.

"We now need to focus and develop the sport further because we are now in competition with other sports.

"After the Rio 2016 Olympic Games the sport programme will change and we need to be ready."

But there was a change for the position of second vice-president where Joao Costa Alegre, from Sao Tome, defeated the incumbent, British canoeing legend Richard Fox, by 52 votes to 40. 

Fox, a 10-time World Championship gold medallist, is now an Australian citizen having moved there in 1998 to take up a position as the national head coach for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Richard Fox profile shotCanoe legend Richard Fox lost his position as second vice-president of the ICF

Fox appeared to have paid the price for being agggressive on a number of key issues, including gender equality and the evolution of the Olympic programme. 

Costa Alegre, the President of the Sao Tome Olympic Committee, won after block voting from the Asian, African and American delegations who wanted more continental representation on the ICF Executive.

"The ICF has significant challenges ahead, including improving opportunities for developing nations and I wish Joao well in his new role on the Executive," said Fox, whose 18-year-old daughter Jessica won an Olympic silver medal in the K-1 at London 2012.

"I would like to thank the President and my ICF colleagues for the opportunity of serving the ICF and I now look forward to supporting the development of canoeing in other ways and to promoting our sport.

"Canoeing did exceptionally well at the London [2012] Olympics thanks to LOCOG's organisation and presentation, the sport now has a chance to modernise its approach to become even more attractive building on its successes and by diversifying the events and opportunities."

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