The 400 and 800 meters Olympic champion (Montreal-1976) was only surpassed by Sergey Bubka (187 votes), who after being defeated by Sebastian Coe in the race for president, was reelected as a vice president; in addition to Dahlan al Ahmad from Qatar (159) and Hamad Kalkaba Malboum (115) from Cameroon.
Juantorena, 400 meters (44.26 seconds) and 800 meters (1:43.44 minutes) Olympic champion during his time, became the first Latin American to be elected to the position, given that Colombian Ramiro Varela, one of the 21 IAAF Council members, was not selected.
"In truth, it's recognition from the athletics world. Not of me as an individual, but of the Cuban athletics family, which has put our nation on top. We are focused on working in favor of world athletics. It's extremely important to direct our efforts toward universalizing athletics and practicing the sport in schools. I feel very touched. Behind every achievement there is the coach, the doctor, the masseuse, the Cuban sports system and philosophy. They provided me with everything I needed to become Olympic champion.
"It will be a privilege to work with Sebastian Coe. He beat my 800 meters record in 1979. It was a difficult choice between two such outstanding candidates, but the Congress elected Sebastian Coe. I will work body and soul, shoulder to shoulder with him in order to fulfill the great responsibility that has been bestowed on me," the President of the Cuban Athletics Federation stated.