El Moutawakel, Fredericks elected into IOC executive board

Arab World Materials 7 August 2008 10:55 (UTC +04:00)

Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco was on Thursday elected as the first woman from the Muslim world into the powerful executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), dpa reported.

Namibian Frankie Fredericks also joined the decision-making body as the athletes' representative on the eve of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

El Moutawakel, who was elected into the EB by the 120th IOC Session with an 85-12 vote, said she felt honoured and would do her best "to protect the Olympic ideals."

The 46-year-old made history at the 1984 Olympics when she became the first Muslim woman to medal, a gold in the 400 metres hurdles.

El Moutawakel took the women's spot on the EB as Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg's four-year term ended. Lindberg's position of EB vice- president went to Yu Zaiqing of China.

Fredericks, a four-time sprint silver medallist from 1992 and 1996, was also unopposed and elected 84-17 into the EB, taking the place of Sergei Bubka, whose term ended. But Bubka was elected into the IOC along with archery federation boss Ugur Erdener of Turkey.

"I am honoured, not just for myself but for all athletes," said Fredericks.

Denis Oswald, Rene Fasel and Mario Vazquez Rana are on the EB as representatives of the summer sports, winter sports and national Olympic committees, respectively.

The influential IOC finance committee head Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico earned another EB term by defeating Craig Reedie of Britain 56-39 on the final day of the Session.

The IOC also chose Durban, South Africa, over Hong Kong for the 2011 Session which will elect the 2018 Winter Games host.