By Nick Butler

Olegario Vazquez Raña faces a challenge is his bid to return as ISSF President for another four years ©ISSFOlegario Vázquez Raña's bid to extend his 34-year tenure at the helm of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) faces a major test at the General Assembly at the Hilton Park Hotel in Munich starting tomorrow.

Vázquez Raña, the 78-year-old Mexican who has led the sport since 1980, is facing sole challenger Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al-Sabah, an ISSF vice-president who also heads the Asian Shooting Confederation.

The elected President will serve a fresh four-year term, with more than 150 national member Federations casting votes, with some nations having several voting delegates due to having separate governing bodies for shotgun, pistol and rifle events.

Franz Schreiber, the current interim ISSF secretary general who replaced his father, Horst, when he died in 2010, is the only candidate standing for the position this time around, as he seeks to ascend to the post on a permanent basis.

But there are eight candidates standing for the four vice-presidential positions, including incumbents Gary Anderson of the United States, Luciano Rossi of Italy and Medhat Wahdan of Egypt. 

The five others, all aiming to reach the position for the first time, are European Shooting Confederation (ESC) President Vladimir Lisin of Russia and the two-time 10 metre air pistol Olympic champion Wang Yifu of China, as well as Mamadou Ba of Senegal, Ahmed Al Raisi of United Arab Emirates and Duaij Al Otaibi of Kuwait.

All these elections, as well as ones for the ISSF Administrative Council and various Section Committees, are due to take place on Wednesday (December 3).

An ISSF Administrative Council meeting has already taken place ahead of the General Assembly ©ISSFAn ISSF Administrative Council meeting has already taken place ahead of the General Assembly ©ISSF

A number of other important decisions are due to be taken tomorrow.

This includes the host for the 2017 ISSF Shotgun World Championships, with eight member Federations having expressed interest, although the final list of candidates will not be revealed until the morning. 

Reports on past and future events will also be heard, including a look ahead to preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

There are no plans for new Federations to become members of the ISSF during the meeting, although it remains possible this could be discussed in the "miscellaneous" section of the timetable, insidethegames has learned. 

But it is the Presidential election that is causing the most interest in the lead up to the meeting, with the shooting fraternity having been taken by surprise by the late decision from Sheikh Salman to stand against Vázquez Raña a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1995.

There are concerns over how the Kuwaiti would be able to balance his Presidential commitments with his roles as Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs in the Kuwaiti Government.

In 2013 the 54-year-old had allegedly informed the ISSF that he planned to resign from the vice-presidential post because he did not have time to balance the two commitments, although this resignation was not ultimately submitted.

In a letter published on the ESC website and accessible here, ESC President Vladimir Lusin pointed this out, as well as the fact Sheikh Salman did not attend either the ISSF World Championships in Granada or the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

Lusin described Sheikh Salman's decision to stand as a "big surprise for me and, I think, for many others", and promised that he plans to vote for Vázquez Raña.

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April 2012: London-bound shooting chiefs to combine General Assembly talks with visit to Olympic test event
January 2011: Schreiber replaces father as secretary general of International Shooting Sport Federation
July 2010: Vazquez Raña re-elected President of ISSF