By Duncan Mackay

VK Malhotra head and shouldersNovember 11 - Vijay Kumar Malhotra has been elected as President of the Archery Association of India (AAI) for a record 40th consecutive year and in the process defied the country's Government regulations on age and how long sports officials can serve in the same role. 

Under the Indian Government's controversial National Sports Development Code, officials are not supposed to stay beyond two terms of four years each and the age fixed for an office-bearer in 70. 

Malhotra is due to turn 81 next month and, until this election, had been elected unopposed since 1973. 

The controversy had twice forced the elections to be postponed. 

Malhotra, who is currently also the acting President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), was challenged by Biyyala Venkata Papa Rao, a former Indian Administrative Service officer and United Nations official and now convener of Clean Sports India.

But Malhotra, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, won easily by polling 72 votes to Rao's 22.

"I am happy archery has come a long way over the years and today India is seen as one of the top nations in the sport," said Malhotra.

"I am grateful to all those who have contributed to its growth and I compliment them.

"AAI remains my united family.

"There is no question of any animosity.

"We will have to work together to take this sport to greater heights and I seek cooperation from all."

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