Sebastian Coe an outsider in long IOC race to succeed Jacques Rogge

• Rogge reveals plans to quit IOC after presidency ends in 2013
• German Thomas Bach already seen as frontrunner to take over

Jacques Rogge plans to stand down as an active member of the International Olympic Committee when his 12-year tenure as president ends in 2013. Rogge, set to be re-elected unopposed for a final four-year term in October, told the American website he was determined not to remain as a distracting presence.

Even with four years to go, the minds of IOC-watchers are turning to possible successors to the Belgian. The man long considered most likely is the German Thomas Bach, a member of the executive board since 1996 and vice‑president since 2000. Other high‑profile executive board members, such as the Puerto Rican Richard Carrión, could also mount a challenge.

An intriguing potential outside bet is Nawal El Moutawakel, the Moroccan sports minister who became the first Arab woman ever to win a gold medal in Los Angeles in 1984, has been an IOC member since 1998 and was president of the 2012 evaluation committee.

One final name to consider might be that of Sebastian Coe. The chairman of the London Organising Committee has repeatedly refused to speculate on his future plans, insisting he is firmly focused only on 2012. To even consider a run at the job he would first have to become an IOC member, either by succeeding Lamine Diack as president of athletics' governing body, the IAAF, in 2011 (and the incumbent has hinted he may stay on) or by appointment after 2012, if Great Britain were granted an additional seat at the IOC table.

Then he would have to cram years if not decades of network building and campaigning into a fraction of that time. To win would be considered an extraordinary achievement. On the other hand Coe, who recently published a book called The Winning Mind, is not known for shirking difficult challenges.

Sprinter's dash for cash

Usain Bolt's staggering 100m win at the World Athletics Championships has elevated his profile yet further and, if he can maintain his form until the London Olympics, will catapult him into the earning league of Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, according to experts. In the nearer term, his bank balance is likely to be massively boosted by two multimillion-pound global deals in the pipeline. It is understood that the sports marketing giant Octagon has been in talks with Bolt's advisers for more than two months about global sponsorship deals for two of its clients, one of them an existing Olympic sponsor. The world record holder's existing sponsors include Puma (responsible for the yellow foam "Bolt arms" dotted around the Berlin stadium), Gatorade and mobile phone group Digicel.

Professor puzzled by Bolt

Professor Reza Noubary of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, one of the leading authorities on the combination of sport and mathematical statistics, has admitted that his formulas have been "thrown in a loop" by Bolt's remarkable times. But he told Digger that he has recalibrated his mathematical predictions of the fastest time a human would ever run to take account of the Bolt effect. According to data available before the Beijing games, he calculated the world record would bottom out at 9.44. Bolt's Beijing world record revised that downwards to 9.37. Now, he predicts with 95% confidence that the quickest time ever will eventually be 9.02. It's unlikely to be long before he's got his calculator out again.

Bookies face huge payout

One anonymous punter from Cambridge will be watching the Ebor at York more intensely than most. He could win an "unprecedented" £2m on a single race, having placed the same bet with both William Hill and Ladbrokes. Carefully calculated to achieve the maximum £1m payout from each, his two £180 trebles will bring in the record sum if second favourite Red Merlin wins today. Having already backed Laa Rayb (33-1) and Genki (14-1) at Goodwood, he bet on the Clive Cox-trained runner when it was 10-1. Not the sort of news either of Britain's biggest bookmakers, which recently posted disappointing financial results, were hoping for.

• This article was amended on Thursday 20 August 2009. We called Nawal El Moutawakel an Arabic woman: we should have said Arab woman. This has been corrected.


Owen Gibson

The GuardianTramp

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