Ng Ser Miang. Photo: AP

Singapore’s Ng poised to challenge for IOC

Ng Ser Miang looked set to challenge to become the new president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday, with officials saying an announcement was imminent.

Ng, a vice-president of the world body and of Singapore’s National Olympic Council, will reveal his intentions in Paris on Thursday after holding talks with Jacques Rogge, the current Olympic chief, a senior official said.

“There will be a news release later, it’s coming out soon,” said Edmund Lim, assistant secretary general of the Singapore NOC.

Lim refused to give further details but he confirmed reports that Ng, who had previously signalled a likely bid, met Rogge in Lausanne, host city of the IOC, during his current trip to Europe.

If Ng’s bid is confirmed, he will be up against German Olympic chief Thomas Bach for the post, which will be decided in a September 10 election in Buenos Aires. Rogge is retiring after 12 years in charge.

Other possible contenders are Richard Carrion, a former executive board member from Puerto Rico, former pole vault champion Sergei Bubka and C.K. Wu of Taiwan, head of the international amateur boxing federation.

Ng would be vying to become not only the first Asian, but also the first non-European holder of the post, which dates back to the birth of the modern Olympic movement in 1894.

A successful bid would be interpreted as a boost for Asian sport and especially Singapore, which has begun branding itself as a venue for big events such as Formula One and is building a new, US$1 billion stadium complex.

Last week, the tiny but affluent Southeast Asian state was revealed as the new host for tennis’s end-of-season WTA Championships on a record, five-year deal.