France's Jean Zoungrana, left, earned 21 of the 36 votes to succeed Britain's Albert Woods, right, as ECA President ©ECA

French official Jean Zoungrana has unseated long-serving Albert Woods as President of the European Canoe Association (ECA) at a vote staged at the Congress in the Greek city of Chania.

The Briton had led the ECA since its incarnation in 1993, and is an honorary life vice-president of the British Olympic Association.

He was supported by the Greek Canoe Federation, while French Canoe Federation President and French National Olympic and Sport Committee vice-president Zoungrana was nominated by his National Federation.

Zoungrana won votes from 21 of the 36 delegates in attendance to become the ECA's second President.

He paid tribute to his predecessor for his service, and a proposal for Woods to become Honorary Life President was accepted by the Congress.

The ECA Congress was held in the Greek city of Chania ©ECA
The ECA Congress was held in the Greek city of Chania ©ECA

"It is an honour for me to be elected, I am very thankful for the confidence placed in me in this election," Zoungrana said afterwards.

"For me it was important to give a new impulse to the ECA.

"Of course, I am respectful of all the work that has been done with the previous President Albert Woods.

"This is why it was important for us to make him Honorary Life President of this Federation."

Zoungrana is set to become an International Canoe Federation Board of Directors and Executive Committee member by virtue of his ECA position.

Woods reflected on his time at the helm.

"I am proud to make the ECA the best continental organisation in the world," he said.

"We've left it in the good position and we have a good team of people we used to work with, Jean will be lucky to take this over."

Slovenia's Andrej Jelenc, a World Championships gold medallist, was elected as vice-president at the Congress, a role also held by Slovakia's Miroslav Haviar.

A further three representatives were elected to the Board of Directors - Serbia's Jovana Stanojević, Germany's Manuela Gawehn and Norway's Geir Kvillum, who represented his country at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

They join Hungary's Peter Karai and The Netherlands' Ruud Heijselaar, and the Croatian secretary general Branko Lovrić.

Former vice-president Jaroslav Pollert of Czech Republic, Eva Lindmark from Sweden and Latvia's Maris Pravains failed in their bids for positions on the Board of Directors.

Evelina Petrova from Bulgaria was re-elected as ECA auditor unopposed.

At a Board of Directors meeting held after the Congress, Szeged in Hungary was awarded a combined Canoe Sprint, Paracanoeing and Stand Up Paddling European Championships fir 2924 and the 2026 ECA Junior and Under-23 Canoe Sprint European Championships.