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King elected for top regional role

Two-times Olympian: Bermuda long jumper Arantxa King

Arantxa King was elected as the chairwoman for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletes’ Commission at the NACAC Championships in Toronto, Canada, last weekend.

King, 28, will work closely with the International Association of Athletics Federation’s Athletes’ Commission’s chairman.

The former long jumper, a two-times Olympian, was named as a member of the NACAC Athletes’ commission in May. She works in New York City as a lawyer, having been called to the New York State Bar in March.

Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, said she received the news about King in a text message from Lord Sebastian Coe, the IAAF president.

“[Lord Coe] stated, ‘I think she’ll be a great asset’,” Raynor said.

“I told him I have no doubt that Arantxa will be a great asset and will give 100 per cent.

“I also received a call from the NACAC president, Victor Lopez, who also advised me of Arantxa’s success. He stated that they were very impressed with Arantxa, her demeanour, attitude, knowledge and communication skills.

“I e-mailed Arantxa to send the BNAA’s congratulations and she stated: ‘It came quite unexpected, but as they say sometimes you must be the change you wish to see.

“I will keep you all posted on any major updates’.”

Raynor continued: “This is a great step for Arantxa and a great opportunity. With her being a former athlete, she has the knowledge of what athletes need to be successful.

“I have no doubt she will make sure decisions that are made at the top level do not have an adverse affect on the athletes. I am excited and proud of her and have no doubt she will represent herself well at the first NACAC Athlete’s Commission meeting. This is a big step for Bermuda and shows the respect these organisations and countries have for Bermuda athletics.”

Both King’s parents are former athletes, her mother Branwen Smith-King won Bermuda’s first medal at the inaugural Carifta Games in Barbados in 1972. She won gold with a winning throw of 9.75 metres in the shot.

Her father Adrian King, a Bermuda cricketer, played for St George’s in Cup Match as a fast bowler.