Bach launches bid for IOC presidency

Updated: 2013-05-11 07:59

By Reuters in Berlin (China Daily)

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German Thomas Bach became the first official candidate to be the International Olympic Committee's new president on Thursday, saying his long experience in the world of sport was his strongest asset.

The 1976 Olympic fencing champion, who is an IOC vice-president and has been a member of the body since 1991, has long been considered a front-runner in the race, even before confirming his plans for a tilt at one of the biggest jobs in sports administration.

Bach launches bid for IOC presidency

The IOC will elect a new president at its session in Buenos Aires on Sept 10 to replace Jacques Rogge, whose two-term rule since 2001 comes to a mandatory end.

"Yesterday I first informed IOC President Jacques Rogge, then the IOC members about my intention to submit my candidature for IOC presidency in June," Bach said.

"From my first training sessions as a young boy through to becoming Olympic champion in Montreal to my current tasks as DOSB (German Olympic Sports Confederation) president, I have dedicated a large part of my life to Olympic sports.

"Thanks to the wide-ranging assignments. I was privileged to have in the Olympic movement, I am humbly aware of the magnitude of the task of an IOC president," said the affable Bach who is fluent in several languages.

Bach, a lawyer by profession and chair of the Ghorfa Arab-German chamber of Commerce and Industry, could come up against other senior IOC members with possible bids from fellow vice-president Ng Ser Miang of Singapore and Puerto Rican Richard Carrion, head of the IOC's Finance Commission.

C.K. Wu of Taiwan and Swiss sports administrators Denis Oswald and Rene Fasel are also seen as potential candidates along with former pole vault champion Sergei Bubka of Ukraine.

(China Daily 05/11/2013 page15)