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Taiwanese IOC presidential hopeful charms Africans: report

2013/07/13 17:53:59

Taiwan's Wu Ching-kuo (right) and Lassana Palenfo, president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (Photo courtesy of Wu Ching-kuo's office)

Taipei, July 13 (CNA) Wu Ching-kuo, Taiwan's only hopeful for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidency, has charmed sports circles in Africa during a visit there, a French website reported Friday.

All IOC presidential contenders were informed of an election for the head of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, held in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, but only Wu and IOC vice presidents Thomas Bach of Germany and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore showed up.

The other contenders are Richard Carrion from Puerto Rico, Denis Oswald from Switzerland and Sergei Bubka of Ukraine.

Wu, president of the International Boxing Federation, "has close relations with African sports leaders and makes no secret of his ties with the continent," website reported.

The 66-year-old told the website during his seventh trip to Africa in less than 10 years that he has established an excellent relationship with his African colleagues since he became an IOC member 25 years ago, the longest tenure of any of the six hopefuls.

"Africa is a continent that is particularly dear to my heart as I think it has great potential," Wu said, adding that the world's top sports organization must treat all continents equally and focus on those who need help the most.

"If I am elected on Sept. 10, I will ensure that Africa is assisted by the IOC as much as possible," he said.

"Together, we must carry the Olympic movement beyond Olympism and make the IOC an umbrella organization conducive to peace in the world," he added.

Unlike Europe (Oswald, Bach, Bubka), Asia (Wu and Miang) and America (Carrion), Africa is not represented in the IOC presidential election, the website noted.

Although votes from African IOC members can be quite scattered, Wu "could gain a lot" because of his speech, the report forecast. Among the current 104 IOC members, 12 are from Africa.

The election of a successor to Jacques Rogge, whose 12 years at the head of the 119-year-old organization are coming to an end this year, will be held in early September in Buenos Aires.

The September session will not only select the new leader of the world's most influential sports group but will also decide the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games and an additional sport to be added to the Olympic program.

(By James Lee)