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September 10 - A mood of resigned acceptance hung over the defeated candidates as they offered their congratulations to Germany's Thomas Bach following his election as the ninth International Olympic Committee (IOC) President here today.

After leading the way in the first round of voting with 43 votes, Bach's victory was confirmed with 49 out of 93 total votes in the second round as he finished ahead of Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion.

Although Bach had been the favourite from the start of the application process earlier this year his triumph was not considered absolutely inevitable and his rivals had begun the day with plenty of confidence.

"I am disappointed as I thought I had a realistic chance," admitted runner-up Carrion.

"But I am not sorry because I gave it my best and it was just not good enough.

"I knew it would have to go a few rounds if I was to win - that was my plan.

"Yet it was the choice of the session, which is supreme and we are now united all behind him and will do what we can for the benefit of the Olympic Movement."

Carrion then showed his lighter side despite his defeat when he was asked if he had "enjoyed " the campaigning process.

"Enjoyed is not a word which comes to mind at this point," he chuckled.

"I would have enjoyed it a little more if I had won the gold medal and I will have to go on a diet now after all those campaigning dinners in the build-up."

Carrion's insistence that everybody would unite behind President Bach was repeated by Taiwan's CK Wu, the candidate defeated in the first round of the election.

Wu admitted that "every time after an election there will be some division and differences of opinion."

Yet he insisted that now the election had been completed "everyone will come back together and work for the benefit of the Olympic Movement."

Similar sentiments were also offered by Ukraine's Sergey Bubka, who finished last in the final round of voting after placing third in the opening round.

"I congratulate Bach and wish him good luck and I look forward to working together with him," he said.

"I had an ambition and I presented my vision and ideas.

"But I am very happy and It was very helpful for the future.

"I have head a great time and have gained many unforgettable experiences."

Sergey Bubka was another to be disappointed after finishing in fifth place in the final round of the Presidential raceSergey Bubka was disappointed but also happy to have had "unforgettable experiences" after finishing in fifth place in the final round of the Presidential race

Ireland's Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees and a close ally of Bach's described feeling "thrilled" at the result.

He added that Bach will be a "great leader" who is "exactly what the IOC needs at the moment."

Panama's Meliton Sanchez Rivas explained similarly how after "devoting his life to sport in Germany and all over the world as well as the Olympic Movement", Bach is the right man for the job.

"The IOC is such a complicated Movement which is so much more than just a Games, so it is important to maintain a balance and Bach does this better than anyone else," he added.

Bach's status as a former fencer and Olympic champion who another factor that may have swayed several voters and Cuba's volleyball player cum member Yumilka Ruíz Luaces was one of those expressing delight that a fellow former athlete had emerged triumphant.

Thomas Bach being congratulated by IOC members following his popular victoryThomas Bach being congratulated by IOC members following his popular victory





The final word of the day, however, went to one of Bach's staunchest supporters in Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah.

The Sheikh, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), said that he was "very happy to see a new President elected in such a democratic way", even though his support of Bach throughout the campaign caused controversy with some IOC members.

"It is good for stability and for him to get the support of such a large part of the house," he said.

"You never know what is going to happen in an election and I believe that the IOC made the right decision."

"It has been a good week for everyone who has supported Tokyo, wrestling and Bach."

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