Pole vault great Sergei Bubka of Ukraine is joining the crowded race to become the next president of the International Olympic Committee.

The 49-year-old former Olympic and World champion notified IOC members on Tuesday that he is running to succeed Jacques Rogge, who steps down in September.

Bubka becomes the sixth, and likely final, contender to enter the campaign for the powerful job in the Olympic movement.

“After careful consideration, I would like to take this opportunity to humbly inform you that I will submit my candidacy for the presidency of the IOC,” Bubka said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

“I am fully aware of the responsibility that this entails and also of the difficult decision that each IOC member faces in deciding who is best to lead the Olympic movement in the coming years.”

The record field already includes IOC vice presidents Thomas Bach of Germany and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, finance commission chairman Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, amateur boxing association chief Wu Ching-kuo of Taiwan, and international rowing federation head Denis Oswald of Switzerland.

Bubka will be by far the youngest candidate in the race, 10 years younger than the 59-year-old Bach. Bach, a former Olympic fencer, has been seen as the front-runner. But the presence of six contenders in the field suggests there is no consensus favourite and the votes could be split.

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