Olympic race on to pick 'lord of the rings'

Olympic race on to pick 'lord of the rings'
President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge (R) listens to the presentation of wrestling to be included as an Olympic sport next to committee member Ng Ser Miang in Buenos Aires September 8, 2013.

ARGENTINA - The true main event of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Buenos Aires takes place on Tuesday.

After the sideshow of the Olympic host city tussle and the formality of reinstating wrestling as an Olympic sport, electing a new leader is the race IOC members have been waiting for.

"We don't do this every day, it's been 12 years since we elected a new president," said Mr Gerardo Werthein, IOC member from Argentina, and host of the 125th session. "It's a historic occasion.

So you can imagine how important this decision is."

Six men, among them Singapore's Mr Ng Ser Miang, 64, are in the running to replace Belgian Jacques Rogge as the most powerful man in sport.

IOC members have read the candidates' manifestos and heard them present their case at a recent IOC retreat. On Tuesday, they will make up their minds.

The whispers in the lobby of the Hilton Buenos Aires - venue for the session and the members' hotel - have it that the favourite, Mr Thomas Bach of Germany, has amassed 48 or 49 votes. That is enough for victory over his two main challengers - Mr Ng, the IOC's first vice-president, and Puerto Rico's Mr Richard Carrion, 60, the IOC's top finance man.

If true, it would mean that Mr Bach, 59, would get the absolute majority of the 96-97 secret votes estimated (some members, such as Mr Rogge, will not participate) and end the race in the first round.

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