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Dijkema retains ISU presidency, speed skating competitions revamped

Jan Dijkema has secured a second term as president of the International Skating Union (ISU), as the world governing body outlined plans to revamp its speed skating calendar.

The Dutchman was re-elected by acclamation as the ISU’s ordinary congress concluded in the Spanish city of Seville. Dijkema was poised to continue in the position after the ISU announced in April that he would stand unopposed.

Dijkema will serve for a further four years after replacing Ottavio Cinquanta two years ago. He overcame Hungary’s György Sallak in the second round of voting in 2016 to become the third Dutch president of the ISU, following founding president Pim Mulier, who led the governing body from 1892 to 1895, and Gerrit van Laer, who spearheaded the organisation from 1937 to 1945.

Alexander Lakernik from Russia and Norway's Tron Espeli were also re-elected unopposed today for the vice-presidential positions with responsibility for figure and speed skating, respectively.

Meanwhile, in other news from the congress, a proposal to create a Four Continents Speed Skating Championship and a Four Continents Short Track Speed Skating Championship was approved, with the new events scheduled to launch from the 2019-20 season.

A proposal to organise only one World Speed Skating Championships per season was accepted, with effect from 2020-21. The ISU currently stages a host of World Speed Skating Championships across the long track and short track formats of the sport.