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Bubka leaps into IOC President contention

29 May 2013

IOC: Legendary pole vaulter Sergei Bubka announced on Tuesday his candidacy to succeed Jacques Rogge as president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Bubka, who is head of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee, announced he would run for one of the most important offices in world sport as the IOC opened a meeting of its executive committee in St Petersburg.

"Yesterday, I contacted the president (Rogge) and I informed him I will present my candidacy for the IOC presidency," he said.

"Why did I decide to announce here? Because 30 years ago, in this beautiful city, my career started as a professional pole vaulter. I qualified for the world championships in athletics.

"I consider it is a good place to announce my candidacy and start a new journey in my life.

"Sport is in my blood - sport is my genes. I have always searched to give back. Without sport, I would not be in front of you."

Bubka, who is also deputy president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), won Olympic pole vault gold at Seoul in 1988 and six world championship titles during his career.

He set 35 world records including the still unbeaten mark of 6.15 metres.

Germany's Thomas Bach, Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, Taiwan's Wu Ching-kuo, Puerto Rican Richard Carrion and Denis Oswald of Switzerland are the other candidates so far for the post of IOC chief.

The vote to decide who will replace Rogge will take place at the IOC's general session in Buenos Aires in September.

The race so far >>

AFP