Sir Philip Craven re-elected as IPC president in Athens vote

Sir Philip Craven has been re-elected as International Paralympic Committee president ahead of Alan Dickson.

Craven secured 127 votes compared to the 20 won by fellow Briton Dickson at the IPC General Assembly and Conference in Athens on Sunday.

Analysis

"In Sir Philip Craven the IPC have a leader who is widely respected and who speaks with a passion for the cause he has served as president since 2001. One of the central issues that he must consult on and find a solution for centres on the momentum that the London 2012 Games generated.

"The opportunities will certainly be there, starting in Sochi in March next year and then in Rio in 2016. But with poor ticket sales so far it may be that the event in Russia will inevitably feel like the morning after London 2012's riotous party.

"As for Alan Dickson, Sir Philip's opponent? Speaking to me shortly after the vote he spoke about how "this movement is far greater than any one or two people" and wished the IPC's leadership every success in the future

"After controversial and bitterly fought elections in football and cycling in recent years the IPC, as on the track and field of play, has demonstrated to the sporting world that there's a consensual, and some might say better, way of conducting business."

The 63-year-old from Bolton will now serve his fourth term of office.

"It's a great relief to win," he said. "I'm very pleased about it. Now I know we can get on with the work and expand this incredible movement."

"I'd like to thank (Alan Dickson) for his candidacy and I'd like to thank him for the competition. And it was tough competition."

Dickson, a former president of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association, had been critical of Craven's bid.

While he recognised the legitimacy of Craven's candidacy, Dickson claimed it was against the spirit of the organisation's rules.

Craven, who was backed by the British Paralympic Association, among others, was first elected as president of the association in 2001 but allowed to run for a final term of office because of a change in the rules in 2005. In future, the presidency term will be a maximum of three four-year terms.

Upon his re-election, Craven said: "It's about athletes. It's about developing an even wider athlete base in all our nations. It's also to maintain the momentum with regard to the Paralympic Games [in Rio in 2016].

"People were saying we'll never repeat Beijing [in 2008]. But then we had London [in 2012] and we'll never repeat London. We're going to create something amazing in Rio.

"But my mind is on Sochi first for the winter Games. I'm not thinking about Rio. And we'll be there in three months time."

The 2013 Paralympic Sport Awards were also held in Athens with Great Britain's David Weir among six athlete award winners.

Who is Sir Philip Craven?

  • Born: 4 July 1950
  • Five-time Paralympian in wheelchair basketball (1972-88), plus swimming in 1972
  • Elected president of the IPC in 2001
  • Member of International Olympic Committee from 2003 onwards
  • Re-elected president of the IPC in 2013

Weir won Best Male after his performances at London 2012, where he won four golds in eight days in the 800m, 1500m, 5000m and marathon distances in the T54 class.

"It's just great being recognised for what I did in London," Weir said.

"It was an amazing achievement, and obviously the IPC could see competing in the T54 events and coming away with four gold medals was one of the toughest things in the world. I fulfilled my dream of coming away with four gold medals at a home Games."

Netherlands' Esther Vergeer won Best Female after finishing one of Paralympic sport's most successful careers with her fourth wheelchair tennis singles title, and also a gold in doubles.

Dutch double-amputee sprinter Marlou van Rhijn won Best Female Games debut after claiming 100m silver and 200m gold in the T44 sprints at London 2012. She also set new T43 world records in both distances.

Italy's Alex Zanardi received the award for Best Male Games Debut after picking up golds in the individual road race H4 and individual time trial H4 at London 2012. The ex-Formula 1 racing driver also won silver in the mixed team relay H1-4.

Brazil's football 5-a-side squad were awarded Best Team for winning their third consecutive Paralympic gold in the sport, while the title of Best Official was awarded to Germany's Sylvia Sekowska, head table official for wheelchair rugby at London 2012.

In the media awards, BBC World Service won the Radio award for its Games coverage.