By Duncan Mackay

Paulo Frischknecht has been appointed as the new executive director of LENSeptember 27 - Portugal's Paulo Frischknecht has been appointed as the new executive director of LEN, the European governing body for aquatic sports, it was announced today at the organisation's Congress in Edinburgh.

He replaces Hungarian Laszlo Szakadati, who stepped down in April following ten years in the position. 

Frischknecht's appointment was recommended by President Paolo Barelli, in agreement with the LEN executive with the ruling Bureau giving its unanimous support. 

Frischknecht, 52, represented Portugal in two Olympics, Montreal in 1976 and Moscow 1980, before becoming a successful coach. 

He is the President of the Portuguese Swimming Federation and was elected to the FINA Bureau in 2009 and to the LEN Bureau in 2012.

After accepting his new position he resigned from the LEN Bureau.

Frischknecht will work closely with LEN's executive manager Marco Birri, marketing manager David Rouger, administrative supervisor Katharina Haue and administrative assistant Lucie Lapierre at the organisation's headquarters in Luxembourg.

"I was surprised when the President approached me in Barcelona [at the World Aquatics Championships]," said Frischknecht.

"We had a couple of interviews, then I asked for a little time as I wanted to make sure that I would be up to the task."

He admitted that LEN faces problems in the immediate future.

"Europe is facing hardship right now both in economic and political terms," said Frischknecht.

"However, we have responsibility towards our predecessors who has made LEN one of the strongest federations.

"And we have to further improve our positions."

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