SEB Coe has been elected president of t
he International Association of Athletics Federations, the most powerful position in the sport.
The man who brought the Olympics to London in 2012 will now lead athletics’ global governing body after beating former Olympic Champion pole vaulter Sergey Bubka to the job.
Coe described winning the election as one of the greatest moments of his life, beaten only by the birth of his four children.
Coe received a majority of 115 votes from 207 votes cast by representatives of the IAAF member federations to Bubka’s 92.
He required 104 votes so his victory was by a finer margin than expected, and takes over at perhaps the most difficult period for the sport in history amid recent allegations of widespread doping.
Former 1500m Olympic Champion Coe’s celebration was understated.
When the result was read out in a conference hall at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing he warmly embraced Bubka and outgoing president Lamine Diack, who has been in charge of the IAAF for 16 years.
In his acceptance speech, Coe said: “These words are not in any way rehearsed, first I would like to thank Sergey for a thoroughly good and long campaign.
“I think it has been in the best traditions of everything we both believe, we have fought according to sound judgement throughout.
“I’d like to thank President Diack for the many personal kindnesses both public and private and to you the member federations for placing your trust in me.”