Nenad Lalovic, elected president of United World Wrestling

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sept 7: Nenad Lalovic, who led last year’s Save Olympic Wrestling movement, was elected president of United World Wrestling by acclamation Sunday in Tashkent.

Lalovic marked his election, and by coincidence the eve of the one-year anniversary of wrestling’s re-admission to the Olympic Programme, by presenting member countries at the FILA Congress a comprehensive brand overhaul taking the international federation from “FILA” to “United World Wrestling.”

Lalovic, who was first elected president last year, immediately launched his vision for the organization and its efforts for closer integration into the Olympic Movement.

“The Olympic world is changing,” said Lalovic.

“Under (IOC President) Thomas Bach and his vision of Agenda 2020 the Olympic Movement could undergo more revisions, more changes,” he explained. “We need to part of that change … We are not guaranteed anything.”

The newly minted United World Wrestling also elected new members to the organization’s executive committee.

Three incumbent members of the World Wrestling Bureau Mikhail MAMIASHVILI (87 votes), Akhroldjan RUZIEV (86) and Tesno TSENOV (71) were re-elected in the first-round of voting, securing more than 50-percent of the congressional vote (63 votes). Each will serve a six-year term.

The next round of voting welcomed four new full-time members, who only needed a relative majority to be appointed: Pedro GAMA FILHO (BRA), Fouad MESKOUT (MAR), Hideaki TOMIYAMA (JPN) and Karl-Martin DITTMAN (GER).

Tomiyama will serve out the remainder of Lalovic’s four-year term and Dittman the final two years of the late Matteo PELLICONE. Both Gama Filho and Meskout have six-year terms.

Pellicone’s widow, Marina, was also elected to a six-year term. Her position was added to help wrestling meet its mandate for having three female members for the World Wrestling Bureau.

With his a new brand in place, his presidency secured for six years and on the eve of The World Championship, Lalovic continued to look forward.

“I promise you that the steps all of us are taking now will be huge. They will propel us into a new age in our sport,” remarked Lalovic. “We will look different on the mats, in our competitive dress and in our brand. We will take our message to sponsors and media that wrestling is worth investing in.”

“We will become good partners in telling the story of wrestling.”

Nenad Lalovic, a businessman from Belgrade, Serbia, is the seventh president of United World Wrestling, formerly known as FILA, the international federation of wrestling.

Lalovic was elected to serve the remaining two-year term to fill the presidency after the resignation of FILA President Raphael Martintti at a special Congress in Moscow on May 18, 2013. He was re-elected for a full six-year term at the Congress in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sept. 7, 2014.

The 56-year old Lalovic joined the FILA Bureau in 2006 and was re-elected in 2012. He’s the former president of the Serbian Wrestling Federation and served on the Bureaus of CELA, the European Wrestling Federation, and the Serbian Olympic Committee.

Lalovic was a key figure in Serbian sports after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. After the war his son Milos started to wrestle at a local club and he became involved with the small club as well as the national federation. He became president of the Serbian Wrestling Federation a year later and helped shape the new nation’s sports history .

When he became president the nation’s top wrestlers worked out in the secretary-general’s small apartment that served as national office and a gym. From that small start Lalovic helped transform the organization into a professional federation with new offices and an infrastructure and it began organizing international competitions that laid the ground work for building international respect. The Junior European Championships of Greco Roman were held in Subotica, Serbia, in 2002 and the Senior Championships were held in 2003 in Belgrade. Serbia won medals in both competitions, its first medals in the sport for the new country.

He was then chosen by CELA to be in charge of the European Cup team competitions. A year later, in 2004, he was named to the CELA Bureau at its Congress. In 2006 at the world championships in Guangzhou, China, he was elected to the FILA Bureau. In 2012 in London, he was re-elected to the Bureau in the first round. He has served as a member of FILA’s Legal and Ethics Committee .

Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1958, Lalovic traveled the world with his father Milos, who served as Yugoslavian Ambassador to Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Belgium and Switzerland. He attended primary school in Tunisia, Yugoslavia and Belgium and finished high school in Geneva.

While attending college in Belgrade Lalovic began a successful business career with a French travel agency in Dubrovnik and Paris. He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Novi Sad.

He returned to Belgrade and began his own businesses, a restaurant, a tennis club and started production of natural shampoo. In 1995 he joined a construction company that operated in Russia and he is a current partner in the firm. He’s also the importer of Suzuki cars and motorcycles for Serbia.

Lalovic and his wife Alexandra were married in 1986. She was a professor at the Serbian National Academy in music and piano and she graduated from the academy as a teenager after being admitted as a 16-year-old. She taught at a school for talented young musicians in Cuprita, Serbia, for 15 years before accepting a position with the Serbian National Academy.

They have a son Milos and a daughter Nina. Milos runs the shampoo company after earning a masters degree from the London School of Commerce and is also involved in a construction company. Nina works for Gazprom in Belgrade and sells petroleum products for the Russian company that has refineries in Serbia.

Lalovic enjoys boating. His dock is in Croatia. —- UWW

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