By Tom Degun

Lord-Sebastian-Coe-010October 16 - Sebastian Coe is set to be elected as the new British Olympic Association (BOA) chairman next month after Richard Leman, his sole rival for the prestigious position, announced his withdrawal from the race for the role.

Leman, the President of GB Hockey and a member of the gold medal winning Team GB men's hockey squad at the Seoul 1988 Olympics, put himself forward as a candidate last month as part of the formal nomination process to replace Colin Moynihan, who announced his intention to step down from the role following the London 2012 Olympics.

Leman was one of several candidates to put himself forward for the position of BOA chairman but was the only one that remained when Coe said that he intended to stand.

But the 53-year-old has now decided to withdraw his candidacy, leaving Coe, who has received widespread plaudits for his work as London 2012 chairman, as the sole candidate to become BOA chairman at the National Olympic Committee's election, which takes place on November 7.

Richard Leman_22Richard Leman has decided not to run against Sebastian Coe to become the next BOA chairman

"Recognising the unique circumstance in which we find ourselves in having the person who led the organisation and delivery of what is widely regarded as the most successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in history standing for election as our next chair, I have decided to put my full support behind Seb Coe and his candidacy," said Leman, who has been on the BOA Board since 2007.

"The opportunities and challenges we face during the next four years are unprecedented, and from my position as a member of Board of Directors, I will continue to work closely with our next chair, my colleagues on the Board, the National Olympic Committee and our staff to meet those challenges.

"Having had the opportunity to compete for Team GB at the Olympic Games, I have always viewed my service to the BOA as an opportunity to give something back to British sport by making certain subsequent generations of athletes benefit from the same life-changing experiences I enjoyed."

Leman's announcement means that Coe will be formally elected to the position at the BOA's scheduled meeting next month by the 43-member National Olympic Committee.

The move is no major surprise as Leman would have been a heavy underdog in an election against Coe following London 2012 given that the 56-year-old double Olympic 1,500 metres champion helped Britain stage arguably the greatest Games in history.

Coe, who is also the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-president, is now set to be charged with leading the BOA through its new post-London 2012 era and Leman's decision not to run against him has been backed by the outgoing Moynihan.

colin moynihanSebastian Coe is now poised to succeed Colin Moynihan, who announced he would step down as BOA chairman following the conclusion of the London 2012 Olympics

"The British Olympic Association is in the enviable position of being able to attract accomplished leaders such as Richard Leman and Seb Coe to serve on its Board," said Moynihan

"It is with leadership of this calibre that the BOA is well-placed to build upon its recent successes and continue making an important difference for British athletes as they pursue their Olympic dreams.

"Having had the good fortune of working closely with Richard during my tenure as chair, I am well aware of the outstanding contributions he has made to the BOA and for all of us who care about British sport, we can be grateful that he will continue serving the organisation as a member of the board."

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