International Canoe Federation President Thomas Konietzko said the decisions taken at this week’s Congress sends a strong message to the sporting world that the sport is well equipped to tackle any challenges.

The 39th ICF Congress in Pattaya, Thailand, wrapped up on Saturday with a series of rule changes approved across nearly all non-Olympic and Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

While many of the changes were only minor, Congress did ratify a change of name for the new Olympic event of extreme slalom, which will now be known as kayak cross.

In explaining the change ICF canoe slalom committee chair Jean Michel Prono said kayak cross removed any confusion with pre-existing canoeing whitewater formats, and also brought the sport into line with other Olympic events with cross in their title.

More than 100 national federations attended the three-day Congress, either in person or online. Among the highlights was the ratification of an athlete declaration, the unanimous support for the ICF’s Fit For Future roadmap, and the move of the sport’s drug testing process to the International Testing Agency.

President Konietzko, presiding over his first Congress since his election one year ago, said he was proud of the support shown by the national federations.

“The most important message from this Congress is we are staying united and we are able to face all challenges ahead of us,” he said.

“That will be noticed in the world of sport.”

A bid from Antalya, Turkey, to host the next Congress in 2024 was supported unanimously.