By Duncan Mackay

Kim Jung Haeng after being elected President of KOCFebruary 22 - Former judoka Kim Jung Haeng won a closely-fought election to become the 38th President of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) today.

Kim, a silver medallist at the 1967 World University Games in Tokyo, became first athlete to ever lead the organisation after beating former world table tennis champion Elisa Lee by only three votes.

He polled 28 votes to her 25, to replace Park Yong Sung, who had decided to stand down following one term. 

It was the third attempt by Kim to win the post, which will enjoy a higher profile than ever now with Pyeongchang due to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, following failed attempts in 2002 and 2008.

''I will lead the organisation in harmony with Lee's supporters," said Kim, 69, 

"I will lead the organisation with all my strength.'

"I would like to thank the people who maintained political neutrality.

Kim has been the President of Yong In University, a school best known for its judo programmes, since 1994. 

He also served as the President of the Korea Judo Association (KJA) from 1995 to earlier this month, when he resigned to concentrate on the KOC election. 

Kim had also been the head of the Judo Union of Asia and the vice-president of the International Judo Federation.

The election passed off without controversy following a row in the build-up over the eligibility of some voters.

In the end, the Korea Ski Association and Korea Taekkyon Association did not vote because they had not elected Presidents in time.

The Korean Boxing Federation were not allowed to take part because they are currently under control of the KOC because of governance issues while Lee Kun -hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, also did not vote even though he was eligible as one of South Korea's two International Olympic Committee memebrs. 

Park, meanwhile, has been appointed as Honorary President of the KOC.   

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