The battle lines have been drawn for one of the fiercest elections in the Asian Athletics Association as incumbent president and tainted politician Suresh Kalmadi is pitted against a tough rival in Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad of Qatar.
The local MP and former president of the Indian Olympic Association, who was ousted from the post following allegation of corruption charges relating to the conduct of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, has been president of the AAA since 2001 and is seeking a fourth consecutive term.
Hamad is currently vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) besides the president of the Qatar Athletics Federation. And with the West Asia countries backing him to the hilt, the election process which is one of the key agenda items in the AAA Congress here on Monday is expected to go down to the wire.
Besides the post of president, the Congress will also elect a senior vice president, five vice presidents and eight council members from among three, eight and 17 candidates who have filed their nominations for these posts.
In the 75th AAA council meeting on Sunday, it was decided that only the new council will be vested with the power to decide the host of the 21st Asian athletics championships to be held in 2015. China and Qatar are the two nations in the fray and a decision on this is also likely on Monday.