By Duncan Mackay in Durban

Gunilla_Lindberg_in_front_of_Olympic_ringsJuly 9 - Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg returned to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) ruling Executive Board here today, becoming the second woman on the 15-member body.

Lindberg was elected unopposed to the single position on the Board after Lebanon's Toni Khoury abandoned plans to stand, filling a spot vacated by Norway's Gerhard Heiberg, who stood down after the completion of his four-year mandate.

She received 63 votes in favor, 10 against and four abstentions in the secret ballot on the final day of the IOC's four-day Session.

Lindberg, 64, the secretary general of the Swedish Olympic Committee, had chaired the IOC Evaluation Commission which inspected the three cities bidding for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which were awarded to Pyeongchang here on Wednesday (July 6). 

"Welcome back on board," IOC President Jacques Rogge said after the result was announced, meaning Lindberg joins Morocco's Nawal El Moutawakel on the Executive Board. 

Lindberg had left the Executive Board in 2008 having been elected in 2000, serving as an IOC vice-president for four years from 2004-08, only the second woman in history elected to that position.

Three new members were also formally elected to the IOC, having previously been nominated by the Executive Board during SportAccord in London in April.

Barbara_Kendall_on_sailboardThey were Jose Perurena, a Spaniard who has been President of the International Canoe Federation since 2008; Gerardo Werthein, the President of the Argentinian Olympic Committee and one of his country's most successful businessmen; and Barbara Kendall (pictured), a New Zealand sailboarder who has won three Olympic medals, including gold at Barcelona in 1992. 

It is a return to the IOC for Kendall, who served as the Oceania athletes' representative from 2005 to 2008, having replaced Susie O'Neill after she resigned.

Britain's Sir Philip Craven, the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), was also formally re-elected as a member of the IOC as is required under the Olympic Charter.

The election of the three new members takes the on the IOC to 113.

But that will be reduced at the end of the year when six members will reach the compulsory retirement age and have to step down.

They are Australian Phil Coles, Japanese duo Chiharu Igaya and Shun-Ichiro Okano, Swede Arne Ljungqvist, Croatia's Antun Vrdoljak and Lassana Palenfo of the Ivory Coast.

They will all become honorary members.

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