OCA president snubs media reports of his support for Bach

Nanjing (China), Aug 18 (IANS) Sheikh Ahmed Al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has rubbished media reports that he was backing German Thomas Bach in the IOC presidential race.

Bach along with Ser Miang Ng of Singapore, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, C.K. Wu of Chinese Taipei, Denis Oswald of Switzerland and Sergei Bubka of Ukraine are the six candidates, who are running for the IOC president's office, reports Xinhua.

The 100-plus IOC members will vote on the successor of Jacques Rogge on Sep 7 in Buenos Aires.

Sheikh Ahmed, who is attending the second Asian Youth Games here, said the choice of IOC members is something that should be kept "inside" the IOC house.

"There are rumours and opinions of journalists we have to respect because the media have to follow up," Sheikh Ahmed said.

"For me, as a member of the IOC, I will maintain my role and law to work quietly in the house of the IOC. But in the end, I trust IOC members will choose the best who can represent them as a leader for sport in future."

The second Asian Youth Games opened in Nanjing Friday and will conclude Aug. 24.

Sheikh Ahmed said he expects the Nanjing Games to be a success.

"Until now a lot of signals show to us that the Nanjing Games will be one of the best ever Games and will send and deliver message to the other committees that the youth games exist now officially as part of the international movement," he said.

A total of 16 sports feature at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, up from nine at the inaugural edition in Singapore four years ago.

Sheikh Ahmed said a very limited preparatory period resulted in the small size of the first Asian Youth Games.

"In Singapore it was only the start... To help Singapore host a multi-sport event in a very short period, we have to accept any kind of an event, any size and number of an event," said the OCA chief.

"This time we are more comfortable... Here is a real test of the Youth Games."

But Sheikh Ahmed confirmed that the OCA will keep a cap on the number of sports disciplines at the Asian Youth Games in future.

"We will evaluate the second Youth Games and then decide what is the number that should be maintained for the Asian Youth Games," he said.


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