By Nick Butler at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel in Athens

Members from all over the world congratulated Sir Philip on his Presidential victory ©George SantamourisNovember 24 - With the dust beginning to settle here following the electoral climax of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) General Assembly, it is the diversity of the winning candidates which has given most pause for thought.

While Britain's Sir Philip Craven and Brazil's Andrew Parsons, President and vice-president respectively, were expected winners from established Paralympic nations, there were certainly surprises elsewhere.

In particular, the three outright winners from the first round of Governing Board votes were three Asian candidates - Mohamed Alhameli of the United Arab Emirates, South Korean Kyung-won Na and Japan's Yasushi Yamawaki.

As IPC members and officials departed next door to a cocktail reception following the result, this was the main topic of conversation and it was something also noticed by Sir Philip.

"It's an incredibly changed Board, with quite probably some surprising results which I think signifies the growth of the Movement taking place," he told insidethegames

"I'm really happy with the representation from around the world.

"The first round results, with all three from Asia and all relatively new to the Movement, were astonishing and great."

Sir Philip and Parsons pose with the new Governing Board members following the IPC elections ©George SantamourisSir Philip and Parsons pose with the new Governing Board members following the IPC elections ©George Santamouris

The fact that two of the future Winter and Summer Paralympic Games will be held on Asian soil, in Pyeongchang in 2018 and Tokyo in 2020, was also not missed by Sir Philip.

This factor was also remarked upon by one of the winners themselves as Yamawaki revealed to insidethegames that enhancing the IPC's link with Tokyo 2020 was one of his three electoral promises.

Alhameli voiced similar sentiments, insisting that "it's important South Korea and Japan is there with upcoming events".

UAE is also important for the IPC because it is very active in organising events in the Middle East region, he added.

After explaining how he was "delighted" with his victory and "looking forward to working with Sir Philip for the next few years", Parsons also implied this when conceding that "if you read what has happened here there are clear messages from the members".

There is "balance, expertise and different backgrounds on the new Board and they must now be integrated together to create harmony," the new vice-president added.

Vice president Andrew Parsons had the best post victory celebration ©George SantamourisVice-president Andrew Parsons had the best post victory celebration ©George Santamouris

It is worth noting that there was not unanimous approval with the results, with African members disappointed that their preferred candidate, Angola's Leonel Da Rocha Pinto, narrowly missed out.

The final word, however, belonged to the Sir Philip, who will now serve a fourth and final term after first assuming the Presidency in 2001.

He explained to insidethegames how "today marks end of a long journey of about two years".

Comparing the state of the Movement in 2001 to today he described the main difference as the transition "from a disability sport to a world sport organisation with our athletes respected for sporting achievements".

Speaking about his personal motivation, he insisted that he is "a passionate believer in the Movement".

"I love being at home with my wife and family, but when I come back into this environment it's as if I'm plugged back into a mains charger immediately," he added.

"That energy is there - that's what I'm about and I'm about representing the people the best I can."