Sebastian Coe to stand for British Olympic Association chair

 

Sebastian Coe looks set to become the next chairman of the British Olympic Association after today confirming he will stand for the position.

Lord Coe's stock could not be any higher after overseeing the triumph of London's Olympic and Paralympic Games and he now looks set to succeed Lord Moynihan who is stepping down next month.

Any expressions of interest from potential rivals must be in by September 24 but senior figures within the BOA believe Coe would almost certainly be unopposed.

Coe, who was London 2012's bid chairman and then organising committee chairman, said he had been asked to stand by the BOA sub-committee appointed to find candidates to succeed Moynihan.

Speaking after the parade of Olympic and Paralympic athletes in London, Coe said: "I have been asked and I'm happy for my name to go forward. I was asked formally and on this day of all days why wouldn't you want to help.

"I wouldn't presume anything but I was asked, I thought about it, and I have always had a huge debt of gratitude to the British Olympic Association.

"They fought to allow me to go to Moscow, and actually everything I have done in the last few years might not have been possible had I not had that Olympic experience, so it's an organisation I have a deep, deep commitment to. The BOA is a fantastic organisation."

Coe has already stated his ambitions to stand for president of the IAAF international athletics federation but that is a couple of years down the line so the BOA chairmanship would be another good stepping stone.

A number of British athletes have backed Coe, 1,500m gold medallist in 1980 and 1984, taking over as head of the BOA, including the eventing silver medallist Zara Phillips - something he described as "very flattering".

Phillips said: "He's an athlete himself and he has done all this with the Olympics and made it what it was - I don't there is anyone else you could put there."

The parade marked the finale of a nine-year London 2012 journey for Coe, who was appointed bid vice-chairman in October 2003, and bid chairman the following year before going on to head the organising committee after London won the IOC vote in 2005.

He insisted, however, that he had no feelings of sadness or relief that it was all over.

Coe added: "I'm not sad because I think the best part of the story still lies ahead. If we deliver in the same way on that that we have delivered in this project then we will get there.

"I have always thought quite long-term about things. It is the first morning since October 2003 that I have woken up without having to think about whether we are going to win a bid or whether we are going to be able to deliver a Games.

"So it was an unusual morning for me, standing on the Mall saluting the most extraordinary people.

"It has been lovely, it was everything that those guys deserved, it has been fantastic."

PA

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