OSLO: Svein Arne Hansen, European Athletics president and World Athletics Council member, has died at the age of 73. Hansen suffered a stroke in March.

Last April, Hansen, 74,, was re-elected unopposed as the president of European Athletics for a second term from 2019 to 2023 at the European Athletics Congress in Prague.

The Norwegian was a key figure in the organisation of the first multi-sport European Championships co-hosted by Glasgow and Berlin in 2018, as one of two co-chairs of the board alongside Paolo Barelli, the president of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN), aquatics’ European body.

Dobromir Karamarinov, European Athletics interim president, said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Svein Arne. He was a great leader, a visionary for our sport and a charismatic personality within the athletics family.

“He was much loved by all those who knew him well and above all he was a friend of the athletes. We have lost a great man. All my thoughts and wishes go to his family at this difficult time.”

European Athletics ceo Christian Milz added: “The world of athletics and the European Athletics family has today lost an inspirational leader and a good friend.

“I had the honour and privilege to work with Svein Arne for a number of years prior to 2015, and since then as our president. He was always trying his best to promote the sport, and always with a smile on his face. We will all miss him. I send my deepest condolences to his family and friends.”