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72nd AIPS Congress in Milan
Paolo Dray
Lord Sebastian Coe and Gianni Merlo during the Congress

The 72nd Annual AIPS Congress was held at the Marriot Hotel, Milan from April 29 - May 3, 2009. More than 350 delegates from 110 member nations as well as guests from the world of sport attended.

The official congress business was preceded by a press conference with international pole vault star and current World and Olympic champion, Yelena Isinbayeva , her coach Vitaly Petrov, and former pole vault champion, IOC member and IAAF Vice-president,  Sergey Bubka. AIPS President Gianni Merlo also took part. The press conference was moderated by French television journalist Marc Maury.

Delegates were officially welcomed by USSI President  Luigi Ferrajolo, CONI President Gianni Petrucci, IOC Member Franco Carraro,  Pier Gianni Prosperini, representing the Lombardy Region and Franco Siddi, President Federation of Italian Journalists.

Highlights included the re-election by acclamation of AIPS President Gianni Merlo (Italy) and Treasurer Jorge Ribeiro (Portugal) and the election by acclamation of First Vice-president Esat Yilmaer (Turkey). Elected for the five vacancies for Vice-Presidents were: Faisal Al Qanai  (Kuwait), Kostantinos Vernikos (Greece), Laima Janusonyte (Lithuania), Nikolai Dolgolopov (Russia), Manoucher Zandi (Iran).

Elected for the eight vacancies on the Executive Committee were: Mohammed Al Malki (Qatar), Dezso Dobor (Hungary), Emanuel Fantaneanu (Romania), Adolf Ingi Erlingsson (Iceland), Evelyn Watta (Kenya), Mitchell Obi (Nigeria), Raul Garcia Salguero (Mexico) and Zhang Haifeng (China).

Lifetime Service Awards were presented to Radomire Jeremic (Serbia) and Gustav Schwenk (Germany).

Delegates visited the Monza Race Circuit and were guests of Inter-Milan's President Massimo Moratti at a cocktail reception followed by a match between Inter and Lazio at Milan's San Siro Stadium.

Next year's congress will take place in Antalya, Turkey.



A minute’s silence was observed for the victims of the L’Aquila earthquake



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