Dobromir Karamarinov has been elected unopposed as European Athletics President at the 27th European Athletics Congress, a Special Election Congress, which was held at the Hotel Royal Savoy in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday (14) morning.
Karamarinov becomes the sixth European Athletics President after Adriaan Paulen (1970-1976), Arthur Gold (1976-1987), Carl-Olaf Homen (1987-1999), Hansjorg Wirz (1999-2015) and Svein Arne Hansen (2015-2020). Karamarinov has served as Interim President since March 2020 after Hansen, who died in June 2020, was unable to fulfil his duties following a stroke.
"Thank you, once again, for your support and for putting your trust in me. Though I was unopposed in today’s election, I do not take that support and trust for granted. To me, it is a huge honour to be elected as President, and to continue to serve European Athletics. I aim to do my very best to repay your support and trust," said Karamarinov in his acceptance speech.
Born in Bulgaria in 1958, Karamarinov was first elected to the European Athletics Council in 2007. After serving two terms as a Council Member he was elected as First Vice President in 2015 before serving as Interim President from March 2020.
Karamarinov was formerly an athletics coach and has a postgraduate degree in sports management. He is also the President of the Bulgarian Athletic Federation as well as the Association of the Balkan Athletic Federations.
In addition to Karamarinov's election as European Athletics President, Jean Gracia (FRA) was elected Vice President ahead of Erich Teigamagi (EST) with 30 votes to 19 votes. He will serve alongside Cherry Alexander (GBR) and Libor Varhanik (CZE), both of whom were elected to serve full four year terms at the 2019 European Athletics Congress in Prague.
The two vacant positions on the European Athletics Council were filled by Juergen Kessing (GER) and Henryk Olszewski (POL) who received 42 and 28 votes respectively ahead of Frank Carreras (GIB) and Luis Figueiredo (POR) with 18 and 10 votes respectively.
There was a moment of silence at the start of the European Athletics Congress to remember some of the influential figures in the sport who have died since the European Athletics family last met in 2019, including former European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen (NOR).
Hansen was posthumously named Honorary President along with Adriaan Paulen (NED), the inaugural European Athletics President.
One of the seats on the Council was vacated by Frank Hensel (GER) who died in December 2020. Hensel, who served three-and-a-half terms on the European Athletics Council between 2007 and 2020, was given Honorary Membership of the Council.
Plaques of Merits were awarded to Ants Nurmekivi (EST), Vincenzo Parrinello (ITA), Liam Hennessy (IRL) and Hans Mueller (SUI) and Golden Pins were awarded to Roland Gusenbauer (AUT), Olavi Sikka (EST), Annie Laurent (FRA), Roberto Fabbricini (ITA) and Karen Torneklint (SWE).
More information on European Athletics Honours can be found here.
The European Athletics Convention officially opens this evening (14) and a full and busy schedule of workshops will follow on Friday.
This will be followed by the Golden Tracks award ceremony on Saturday (16) evening when the men's and women's European Athletes of the Year and Rising Stars will be crowned.
The Golden Tracks award ceremony which takes place at the SwissTech Convention Center will be streamed live on European Athletics' YouTube channel from 8.30pm CET.
The 2022 European Athletics Convention will be held in Estonia, Tallinn on 20-22 October and it was also decided today the 2023 European Athletics Congress will be held in Belgrade, Serbia on 21-23 April.