Former Olympic 1500m champion Coe was voted in over Ukraine’s ex-Olympic pole vaulter Sergey Bubka by 115 votes to 92 at a meeting of the 214 athletics federations in Beijing.
Although the battle against doping has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, the newly elected IAAF president Sebastian Coe has outlined a raft of other challenges he says the sport of athletics needs to confront.
Tang, 61, was up against German Athletics Association president Clemens Prokop, Royal Spanish Athletics Federation chief Jose Maria Odriozola and Oceania Athletics Association president Geoff Gardner.
Coe delivered a powerful speech to the Congress ahead of the vote in which he said: “There is no task in my life for which I’ve ever been better prepared, no job I’ve ever wanted to do more and with greater commitment”. “I am looking forward to working closely with him over the coming years for the good of our sport”. “My life has always been fairly complicated and very busy”, said Coe, a twice-married father-of-four who also undertook an exhaustive campaign to help London win the rights for the Olympics.
Former president Lamine Diack, who’s been at the helm for 16 years, left with the track and field’s worldwide governing body under intense criticism following media allegations that it failed to act on evidence of widespread blood doping.
“For most of us in this room, we would conclude that the birth of our children is a big moment in our lives, probably the biggest”, London-born Coe, 58, told the congress.
Doping issues are likely to be a feature at the Bird’s Nest stadium for the world championships which kick off on Saturday in Beijing.
“I am a happy man…it was a great and interesting campaign, which is really important for this sport”.
Following his defeat, Bubka said: “I know that athletics in the future will grow, and become stronger and stronger”.
The IAAF last week denied it had tried to block publication of the study, and confirmed that 28 athletes had been caught in retests of their doping samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships but said none of the athletes will be competing in this year’s competition.
As part of his candidacy manifesto, Coe had promoted establishing an independent anti-doping body, with IAAF tests now going through the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“Far from hiding from these statistics, to our knowledge the IAAF is the only sport in the world to have openly reported, reviewed and analysed the statistics available in its long-term blood profiling database”.
The Olympic gold medallist in 1980 and 1984 praised the organisation for how the contest was conducted, saying it was “fought according to sound judgement throughout”.