New International Canoe Federation president Thomas Konietzko has used his first board meeting to pledge to continue to strengthen the number of women holding positions of influence within the canoeing family.

Mr Konietzko congratulated Germany’s Manuela Gawehn on becoming the ICF’s first female chairperson. Ms Gawehn was elected to head the wildwater canoeing committee.

The ICF board on Sunday also voted Hungary’s Noemie Horvath as the chair of the stand up paddling commission. On Saturday Argentina’s Cecilia Farias was successfully re-elected as an ICF vice-president.

“We are continuing to build the voice of women within our sport,” Ms Farias said.

“We need to celebrate the election of Manuela Gawehn as our first female chair, and also recognise all the excellent women who have put their names forward. Not everyone gets elected, but we have more women now in strong positions than ever before.”

Outgoing ICF vice-president, Jose Perurena, identified the increase in the number of women on the ICF board to nine, and gender equality on the Olympic programme, as two of his proudest achievements during his 13 years in charge.

“When I started in 2008 there were four ladies and 12 men’s medals on offer at the Olympics,” Mr Perurena said.

“In Tokyo finally we have eight and eight, the same quota. This was a big success for the ICF, because it is not easy to convince countries to make changes.”

On Sunday more than one dozen women were elected to join the commissions of the canoeing disciplines, and Mr Konietzko hopes to build on this platform during his time as President.

“Make no mistake of the importance of this goal for me and our ICF board,” Mr Konietzko said.

“We must continue to work hard to increase the voice and the representation of women right across our sport.”