Former Olympic saber champion becomes Romania's Olympic head

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/11/16 9:08:15

Former Olympic saber champion Mihai Covaliu was elected on Tuesday as the new Chairman of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee (COSR).

"I am aware that this feature is a huge responsibility," he said after his election, expressing the wish that all the members of COSR, of federations, as well as coaches and athletes would join him in the common efforts for the recovery of Romanian sport, so that it would return to the ranks of the world's elite.

Covaliu was elected with 128 votes at the COSR' s general meeting of election, while his competitor Gabriela Szabo, a famous runner with gold medals in Olympics and World Championships, received 68.

Covaliu, 39, is Olympic champion in 2000 and world champion in 2005, and coach of the Romanian men's sabre team. He is also president of the Romanian Fencing Federation. He holds a masters' degree in sport management.

His predecessor Alin Petrache tendered his resignation on Aug. 29, for the country' s poor performance in the Rio Olympic Games.

Romania's performance at Rio 2016 was its poorest after WWII, with only a gold, a silver and three bronzes, and with the country finishing on the 47th position in the medal count.

Romania's Olympic performance peaked at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, when it finished second in the nation ranking, followed by the 5th spot in 1976 in Montreal and 6th in Moscow in 1980. Yet, the country has been spiraling downhill from position 14 in Athens to spot 17 in Beijing and then 27 in London.

Posted in: OLYMPICS

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