Inside Lines: Singapore sailor gets set to waive rules for Olympics

 

Ser Miang Ng may not be a name which trips easily off the tongue but it is one with which we may become distinctly familiar in the coming years.

One month from today the little-known Singaporean sailor is tipped to be installed as the most important figure in world sport – the ninth president of the International Olympic Committee. Although Germany's longest-serving vice-president, Thomas Bach, is the recognised favourite to succeed Jacques Rogge, there is a huge groundswell of support for Ng, not least because seven of those eight presidents have been European – including the last four in the 41 years since the American "Slavery" Avery Brundage – and many members clearly feel it is time for a Continental sea-change.

Last week Ng came to London, which seems to be used as a critical sounding board for this intensely fought election campaign, to present impeccable credentials. A quietly spoken businessman and former diplomat, politician and Olympic yachtsman, his manifesto would see a downsizing of the Games and making the IOC more of a democracy, his first move taking members on a pilgrimage to Olympia to remind them of the movement's core values. He has been instrumental in transforming Singapore – where as I know from my time there in the Eighties, sport was virtually a dirty word with education everything – into the vibrant sporting hub of South-east Asia. He orchestrated the 2005 IOC Congress when London won the 2012 bid and was the architect of the Youth Olympics.

Ng, 64, followed rival candidate Sergey Bubka in hosting a media lunch in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium. Tomorrow it's the turn of pugnacious Dr C K Wu, the would-be world boxing czar from Taiwan, to woo us with afternoon tea at the appropriately named Queensberry Room at London's Cafe Royal.

Straight talking

While none of the athletes in Britain's prospective Winter Olympics squad are openly gay – the last Winter Olympian to "come out" was 1976 skating champion John Curry – the G-word was up for open discussion at their Bath University summer gathering on Friday.

The consensus emerging is that there definitely will be no GB boycott of the Games in Sochi over Russia's anti-gay legislation. "So far no one has come forward with any concerns," says the British Olympic Association's Darryl Siebel, though adding: "But we would never compel any athlete to compete in an environment they are not happy with." Interestingly London will be hosting the Gay Olympics in 2018. Will Russia send a team?

Premier on prejudice

And still on Russia, David Cameron was on Twitter yesterday to knock back Stephen Fry's demand that the Olympics be taken away from Sochi. Echoing remarks made by President Obama, Cameron said prejudice can be better challenged by attending rather than boycotting Olympics. What would Mrs Thatcher, have made of that?

Time to box Cleverly

The Premier League kick-off next Saturday coincides with boxing's own new season, which starts with two fascinating world-title fights involving Nathan Cleverly and Darren Barker.

Upcoming blockbusters include David Haye v Tyson Fury, Carl Froch v George Groves and the pro debut of Olympic champion Anthony Joshua. Plus the mega-fight in Atlantic City between Floyd Mayweather and the tasty Mexican Saul Alvarez. Both are unbeaten, as are Cleverly and his WBO light-heavyweight challenger Sergey Kovalev, a tough Russian who knocks them all over. They clash in Cardiff in what Cleverly says is "the biggest night of my life". With Kovalev the bookies' favourite, this is a career-defining fight for Cleverly.

In Atlantic City likeable Londoner Barker is up against it in challenging big-hitting Aussie Daniel Geale for the IBF middleweight title. These match-ups, screened respectively by Box Nation and Sky, are evidence of how strongly boxing has fought back off the ropes.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition