Japanese race walker Yamanishi elected to World Athletics athletes’ commission

© World Athletics
© World Athletics

Eugene, United States, July 23, 2022: World Athletics is pleased to announce the results of the Athletes' Commission elections which took place in Eugene during the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

The six new Athletes' Commission members voted on to the Commission are:

• Ivet Lalova-Collio (BUL, sprints) 615 votes

• Anna Ryzhykova (UKR, hurdles) 607

• Lea Sprunger (SUI, sprints/hurdles) 585

• Lisanne de Witte (NED, sprints) 560

• Matthew Hughes (CAN, middle distances) 555

• Toshikazu Yamanishi (JPN, race walks) 494

Yamanishi, 26, won the men’s 20km race walk on the opening day of this year’s World Athletics Championships, making him the first Japanese in history to repeat as a world or Olympic champion in the sport.

Yamanishi clocked 1 hour 19 minutes 7 seconds to add to the gold he won three years ago in Doha and finish seven seconds ahead of Olympic silver medalist and compatriot Koki Ikeda — giving Japan its first-ever 1-2 finish at the World Athletics Championships.

Outgoing and newly-elected members will participate in a handover meeting in November this year together with the continuing Commission members, currently headed by Renaud Lavillenie (FRA, Chair) and Dame Valerie Adams (NZL, Deputy Chair).

This year’s elections were postponed by one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Elections will be held again next year during the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, where six new members will be elected. Six additional members will also be appointed by the World Athletics Council to bring the number back to its intended 18.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “The athlete’s voice has been enshrined in our governance structure for the past three years through the Athletes’ Commission and I am appreciative of the substantial contribution the Commission makes to our discussions at Council level. I would like to welcome the six new members of the Commission and thank the six departing members for their service to our sport. With another election next year in Budapest, I would like to encourage more athletes to consider becoming involved in the decision-making of our sport.”