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International Paralympic Committee elects new president

By Sun Xiaochen in Abu Dhabi, UAE | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-09-09 00:14

China's National Paralympic Committee has vowed to continue helping promote para-sports worldwide after its Zhang Haidi's presidential campaign for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) came up short.

Zhang finished second in the four-candidate race after Brazilian Andrew Parsons, who won the vote to become the new president of IPC at the international para-sport governing body's general assembly in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Denmark's John Petersson finished third ahead of Patrick Jarvis of Canada. A total of 163 IPC members took part in the vote with only one that did not cast a vote.

Parsons, the former vice-president of IPC, succeeded Philip Craven after the former British wheelchair basketball athlete served in the top post for 16 years since 2001.

Zhang, also the chairwoman of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, said that she would strive to further expand the influence of the international paralympic movement by promoting equality and inclusiveness.

Zhao Sujing (赵素京), secretary general of the National Paralympic Committee of China, said the vote result won't affect China's promise to further contribute to para-sports worldwide.

"Through the election, we've staked our claims on international paralympic development, strengthened ties with friends within the circles of para-sports and forged the image of a responsible country. We will continue working actively to push international Paralympic movement forward," she said.

It was the first time a Chinese representative took part in the presidential election of IPC, which was founded in 1989. The support from the IPC membership have shown China's increasing international status as a major player and promoter of para-sports, said observers. "China has been working hard to involve more people with impairment in sports exercise and athletic training on a broad basis. The contribution has been widely recognized," said Wei Jizhong (魏纪中), honorary life vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia.

"Zhang's involvement in the election offered diversity and a new approach in improving the top leadership of IPC, showing the country's capability in sharing more responsibilities in the development of the international paralympic movement," he said.

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