IBF President among Most Influential in Sport
The influential international sports newsletter, Sport Intern, has published its annual ranking of the world's top 125 leaders in world sport for 1999. At the top there are no big surprises as IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch retains the number one spot as "Sports Leader of the Year" ahead of FIFA's Sepp Blatter. The twelve-member jury who compiled the list comprises leading sports journalists and other top sports insiders from all five continents. In Asia, IBF President, Lu Shengrong, is ranked the third most influential person in sport and ranks 51 on the world list. In a ranking that includes Rupert Murdoch (News Corporation), Mark McCormack (International Management Group) and Ted Turner (Time Warner), this reflects the growing stature of the badminton President as well as recognition for the increasing importance of badminton as a global sport. Former IBF President Craig Reedie, President of the British Olympic Association and an IOC member, is ranked 76. IBF will have 144 member countries by the end of January this year. Lu Shengrong enters her last sixteen months as IBF President and, during her remaining term in office, the sports world waits to see where she will lead badminton as it emerges from the greatest economic crisis it has faced since becoming an Olympic sport.