IAAF mourns death of Juan Antonio Samaranch

20:34, April 22, 2010      

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File photo taken on July 13, 2001 shows Juan Antonio Samaranch, former president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announcing that Beijing, capital of China, won the right to host the 2008 Olympics during a meeting in Moscow, Russia. Juan Antonio Samaranch died at the age of 89 on April 21, 2010 in Barcelona after suffering from severe heart attack. (Xinhua)

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) extended its "sincerest sympathies and condolences" to the family and colleagues of former International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch, who died on Wednesday at 89.

Widely credited with renewing and fundamentally changing the landscape of the Olympic Movement, Samaranch led the IOC for 21 years from 1980 until 2001, and was Honorary IOC President at the time of his passing.

"I was very sad to hear about the death of Juan Antonio Samaranch, a man who I have no hesitation in describing as the person who transformed the modern Olympic movement into what it has become today," said IAAF President Lamine Diack.

"Samaranch worked with great energy, intelligence and the skills of a natural diplomat to create a unified Olympic Movement and to ensure that the Olympic Games became the world's most influential sporting event."

"But as well as his unique devotion to the Olympic movement and its values, I will never forget the deep respect and passion that Juan Antonio showed for the sport of Athletics. At each Olympics and every edition of our World Championships up until Berlin 2009, Juan Antonio would take his place in the tribune to follow the Athletics with enthusiasm and an expert's eye."

"He was truly a man of sport and we will miss him greatly. I would like to send the IAAF's deepest condolences to his family and loved ones," said Diack in a statement.

Source: Xinhua


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