Stephanie Hightower will retain her place as a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruling Council until next September even after the United States elected former world triple record holder Willie Banks to replace her.
Banks, President and chief executive of HSJ, Inc., a sports marketing company organising the first Association of National Olympic Committees World Beach Games in San Diego next year, polled 391 votes to 217 to defeat Stephanie Hightower, who currently holds the position, at the USA Track & Field (USATF) National Meeting in Columbus.
The vote does not mean that the 62-year-old Banks, a silver medal at the 1983 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, will automatically join the IAAF Council when Hightower's term ends next September.
He must be voted on by the entire IAAF membership at its Congress on the eve of the World Championships in Doha - something that is by no means certain.
Hightower, 60, is absent from the current IAAF Council here due to business commitments.
Hightower, a former 100 metres hurdler, were team-mates on America's team at the 1987 IAAF World Championships in Rome but little love was lost between the pair during a bitter campaign.
Banks claimed, according to the Times of San Diego, that delegates looked at his record of "helping athletes and being supportive of issues that people really cared about".
He added: "That resonated with people.”
Four years ago when delegates to the USATF Annual Meeting in Anaheim voted to retain longtime IAAF Council member Bob Hersh as the America representative on the world governing body.
But the USATF Board chose her over Hersh by a 11-1 vote - a decision at the time that Banks called "totally unforgivable".
Hersh was among the people who this year seconded Banks' nomination.