Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang will officially announce on Thursday (May 16) that he is to put himself forward as a candidate to replace Jacques Rogge as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The 64-year-old, who is currently one of four IOC vice-presidents, is due to make the announcement in Paris.
It will make Ng the second candidate to officially declare that he will stand to replace Rogge after Germany’s Thomas Bach, who is also an IOC vice-president, announced last week that he would be entering the race at a press conference in Frankfurt.
Unlike Bach, insidethegames understands that Ng will unveil far more details of his candidature, including a manifesto.
The decision to launch his campaign in the French capital seems designed to appeal to the Francophone arm of the Olympic Movement.
Ng does not speak French, although he is currently taking lessons.
Rogge’s 12-year reign as IOC President will end at the 125th Session in Buenos Aires later this year with his successor to be elected on September 10.
Ng, a former sailor who won a silver medal in the 1969 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games and was the vice-president of the International Sailing Federation between 1994 and 1998), has been an IOC member since 1998 and vice-president since 2009.
He has been seen as one of the leading contenders to take over from Rogge since he helped the Belgian set up the Youth Olympic Games as Ng served as President of the Organizing Committee at the hugely successful inaugural event in his native Singapore in 2010.
Ng, a former Member of Parliament, is the current Singapore Ambassador to Norway, and he completed his tour as the country’s Ambassador to Hungary in 2012 after 12 years.
He is a very successful businessman who in 1979 took over the Singapore Shuttle Bus company and founded the Trans-Island Bus Services in 1982, before selling his stake to rivals SMRT in 2002.
Ng is currently chairman of NTUC FairPrice, the largest supermarket chain in Singapore.
Ng made clear to insidethegames that he was likely to stand for the most powerful position in sport just last months; although he admitted that Rogge’s successor faces a “daunting challenge” moving forwards.
“I’m very flattered and humbled by the view of several of my IOC colleagues that I could fulfil this role,” he said.
“This is a very important year for the IOC and I have mentioned before that the election of a new President is a crucial one.
“It is especially important in this rapidly changing world where we are facing different problems and challenges, especially with the youth.
“[But] the next President faces a difficult task to continue to build on the strong legacy of President Rogge and what he has done.
“He has left the Olympic Movement in a strong position since taking over from Juan Antonio Samaranch and he has done great things.”
Ng is considered one of the favourites to succeeded Rogge as he has a particularly strong powerbase amongst the Asian IOC membership.
Should he be elected, he would become the first Asian and only the second non-European to lead the organisation after Avery Brundage of the United States, who was in charge from 1952 to 1972.
The other candidates expected to follow Bach and Ng in publically declaring their IOC Presidency next week are Richard Carrion, the head of the IOC’s Finance and Audit Commissions from Puerto Rico, CK Wu, the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) from Taiwan, and Sergey Bubka, the vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from Ukraine.