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IOC elects Thomas Bach as president

Members of the International Olympic Committee have elected German Thomas Bach as the organization's new president. Bach replaces Jacques Rogge and becomes the ninth head of the IOC.

Thomas Bach, a narrow favorite before the poll, won election as IOC president in just two rounds of voting in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. Current IOC head Jacques Rogge introduced the winner.

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

Bach stood up to prolonged applause, hugged Rogge and then called for quiet from the podium.

"Ooof, haha," Bach said, before thanking all those who voted for him. "This is a really overwhelming sign of trust and confidence."

The 59-year-old also thanked those who voted for his opponents, Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion, Swiss Denis Oswald, Ukraine's Sergey Bubka, Ng Ser Miang of Singapore and Taiwan's CK Wu.

"I will also work for you and with you in the coming years and want to earn your confidence, too," Bach said. "My door, my ears and my heart are always open."

As a fencer, Bach won Olympic gold in the 1976 Games. He joined the IOC in 1991 and has served in a string of top roles, including as vice-president. Rogge retires aged 71, saying on Tuesday that he was leaving "without any nostalgia" and with few regrets. The outgoing president plans to remain an honorary IOC member and attend future Olympic tournaments.

The IOC also chose Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Games on Saturday during its Buenos Aires conference.

msh/ph (dpa, Reuters)