Germany's Bach elected IOC president

Germany's Bach elected IOC president

Germany's Thomas Bach was elected president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tuesday in Buenos Aires, to succeed Belgium's Jacques Rogge, dpa reported.

"I have the honour and the pleasure to announce that the ninth president of the International Olympic Committee is Thomas Bach," Rogge said.

Bach, sitting on his left, stood up to hug Rogge and address IOC members.

"Uff!" he said, in his first comment as IOC president. "This is a really overwhelming sign of trust and confidence."

The election of the ninth IOC president took just two rounds of voting in a secret ballot among IOC members. In the second round, Bach, 59, beat Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion, Switzerland's Denis Oswald, Ukraine's Sergey Bubka and Singapore's Ng Ser Miang.

In the first round, Ching-Kuo Wu of Taiwan and Ng tied with the fewest votes, and Wu was eliminated in the subsequent tie-break.

The 1976 Olympic fencing gold medallist Bach, who was the frontrunner for the top job in world sport for years, thanked those who voted for him, but also promised to represent those who had not.

"I will also work for and with you in the coming years and want to earn your confidence too," he told them.

"My door, my ears and my heart are always open," Bach said.

Rogge had been IOC president for 12 years, since he succeeded Spain's Juan Antonio Samaranch (1980-2001).

"I hope very much that I can count on your good advice also for the years to come," Bach told his predecessor.

The Bach joined the IOC in 1991 and has enjoyed a steep career there. He was IOC vice-president, chairs the juridical and the anti-doping disciplinary commissions and negotiates European TV rights.

Since it was founded in 1894, the IOC has had only one non-European president, Avery Brundage, of the United States (1952-72).

At 71, Rogge has stressed that he is leaving "without any nostalgia" and with few regrets.

"I did my duty, I did what I had to do. If it has benefited the International Olympic Committee, I'm happy, but don't look at me as a miracle doctor," he said last week in Buenos Aires.

"Have I enjoyed it? Not always. Was it exciting? Definitely," he said.

Rogge plans to remain involved with events at the IOC as an honorary member and plans to attend the Games in the future too.

Earlier Tuesday, the heads of the American and Russian Olympic Committees, Larry Probst and Alexander Zhukov, were elected into the IOC.

Probst, a businessman who chairs the United States Olympic Committee, received 71 votes with 20 opposed. The economist and Russian Olympic Committee president Zhukov was elected with 63 votes in favour and 29 against.

They were part of a group of nine new members of the IOC at the Session in Buenos Aires.

Among the new members were two Olympic medallists and two other former athletes: Double Olympic distance running silver medallist Paul Tergat of Kenya, 2004 high jump gold medallist Stefan Holm of Sweden, former volleyball player Bernard Rajzman of Brazil and former equestrienne Mikaela "Mikee" Cojuangco-Jaworski of the Philippines.

Octavian Morariu of Romania, Dagmawit Girmay Berhane of Ethiopia and Camiel Eurlings of the Netherlands are the other now IOC members.

The election took the total IOC followed the exit of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who resigned after he succeeded his mother as monarch in April.

The IOC now has a total of 112 members. However, Australia's Kevan Gosper and Senegal's Lamine Diack are set to quit for age reasons on December 31, while Oman's Habib Macki will be stepping down, to bring the number down to 109 members.

A new IOC vice president was set to be elected later Tuesday, while a further vacancy on the decision-making IOC executive board was also to be filled.

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