Andrew Parsons has been elected as the new president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The Brazilian, who will replace the long-serving Sir Philip Craven, prevailed in the first round of voting at the IPC General Assembly in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He secured 84 of the available votes, two more than the 82 required for an absolute majority.
China's Haidi Zhang took 47 votes, while John Petersson of Denmark received 19 and Canada's Patrick Jarvis 12 in a secret ballot.
New Zealander Duane Kale was also elected to the role of vice president, edging out Petersson by two votes.
“I am absolutely delighted and I don’t know what to say. I would like to thank the IPC membership for their trust” said Parsons, who becomes only the third President in the IPC’s history. “Throughout my campaign I think I have explained what I plan to do as IPC president and the membership understood and gave me their support.
“Now it is time to roll up the sleeves and work really hard with the membership and the new Governing Board.
“I think the election, winning in the first round, shows very strong support from the membership. It shows they trust me and I am really delighted.
“Going forward the relationship with the IOC is going to be key. We have some very important decisions ahead; sport is at a difficult moment at this time and we have many things in common that we have to fight for. It is fundamental that we work together, co-operate and I am sure we will do that.”
Parsons also described his predecessor, Sir Philip Craven, "as legend, a mentor, an example and an absolute colossus, it’s impossible to describe him with just words".
"I have very big shoes to fill," he added, "but I think I learned a lot from him and I will try to pay tribute to him by following in his footsteps."