By Duncan Mackay

Arto Bryggare head and shouldersNovember 17 - Olympic bronze medallist Arto Bryggare is to stand to be President of the Finnish Athletics Federation (SUL), he has announced.

The 54-year-old from Kouvola is one of the country's most successful athletes of recent years but will face opposition from Vesa Harmaakorpi, an academic and scientist.

Bryggare made history at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles when he finished third in the 110 metres hurdles to become the first Finn to win a medal at a distance shorter than 400m.

He also won a silver medal in the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki and a silver and two bronze in three consecutive European Championships between 1978 and 1986.

Bryggare was then a member of the Parliament of Finland, representing the Social Democratic Party of Finland from 1995 to 1999 and 2003 to 2007.

Arto Bryggare on podium Los Angeles 1984Arto Bryggare on the podium at Los Angeles 1984 after receiving his bronze medal with gold medallist Roger Kingdom and silver medallis Greg Foster

He is now the vice-chairman of the City of Helsinki and involved in athletics as a coach.

It will be his second attempt to win election having lost in 2006 to Antti Pihlakoski, who has held the post since.

"I hope that what I have acehived and the work that I have done athletics will help convince people of my suitability," said Bryggare.

Harmaakorpi is the professor of Lappeenranta University and chairman of Lahden Ahkera club in Lahti.

The election is due to take place on November 24.

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