Former Olympics champion Poul-Erik Hoyer has pledged to improve the image of badminton after winning the presidency of the sport’s world governing body.
The Dane polled 145 votes Saturday to beat Justian Suhandinata of Indonesia by 25 votes, becoming the first European to lead the Badminton World Federation since 1993.
“Poul-Erik has done an amazing piece of work to be elected and it is good to see that the hard work has paid off. I have no doubts whatsoever that he will be an outstanding president of BWF,” said President of Badminton Denmark, Peter Jensen.
Hoyer won the singles gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He succeeds Kang Young Joong of South Korean, who stepped down after eight years in charge.
Hoyer says eradicating “match-fixing or match-throwing” and ensuring badminton is in the top 10 of Olympic sports are among his top priorities.
The sport was disgraced at last year’s London Olympics when eight Asian female players were disqualified for trying to lose matches to gain more favorable draws.
The announcement came at the same time as the Sudirman Cup, which is the World Cup for teams, is being played in Malaysia, where the Danes are among the favourites.