BUENOS AIRES - Thomas Bach has won the race to become the new president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In a secret ballot held in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the 59-year-old German, one of the IOC's four vice-presidents, saw off the challenge of four other men in the second round of the contest by gaining an absolute majority of the votes.
He gained 49 of 93 votes cast, with Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion second with 29.
In the first round, Chinese Taipei's Wu Ching-kuo and Singapore's Ng Ser Miang were tied in last place on six votes each after both polled the fewest votes.
It then went to a run-off, where Ng beat Wu - president of the International Amateur Boxing Association - by 56 votes to 36 to make the cut for the second round. The 64-year-old went on to earn six votes in the second round.
Bach succeeds Belgian Jacques Rogge, who ascended to the position in 2001, as the most powerful man in sport.
Also in the race for the post were Denis Oswald from Switzerland and Ukraine's Sergey Bubka, who received five and four votes in the second round respectively.
Carrion is the IOC's top finance man. Oswald, a lawyer by trade, is president of the International Rowing Federation. Bubka, the pole vault legend, is a member of the IOC board.
Despite missing out on becoming the IOC's first Asian head, Ng earned the praise of Teo Chee Hean, president of the Singapore National Olympic Council.
"Ser Miang strongly believes in the Olympic Movement and has a deep passion for Olympism. This is what motivated him to take up the challenge to run for the IOC presidency," he said. "I am confident that Ser Miang will continue to contribute to the growth of sport in Singapore and sport development internationally."
On his part, Ng took the outcome in his stride.
"I have already spoken to president Bach to congratulate him on his victory," he said. "He ran a great campaign and is humble in triumph.
"This is a time of great challenges for the Olympic Movement, and I wish president Bach the very best of success in guiding the IOC as we move into a new and exciting era.
"I ran for IOC president because I was concerned by the challenges facing world sport and because I felt I could make a difference. President Bach shares my concerns, and I know that the Olympic Movement is in good shape with him at the helm. I am a big believer in the Olympic Movement, the membership, and our new president and I will continue to serve all to the best of my abilities.
"I would like to thank my colleagues, family, friends and the public for their unwavering support over the past few months. This truly was an exciting chapter of my life."
Tuesday's contest marked the end of the 125th IOC session, in which Tokyo was named host of the 2020 Games and wrestling was reinstated to the Olympic programme.