Sebastian Coe has edged closer to securing the IAAF presidency after winning public declarations of support of 12 European countries.
Lord Coe is running against Sergey Bubka, the former Olympic pole vault champion from Ukraine, with the election to take place on August 19 in Beijing.
Coe's team insist they are taking nothing for granted in the run-up to the election but nevertheless the declarations indicate he is well out in front in the race to succeed Lamine Diack.
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The double Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist and former London 2012 chairman has been promised the support of Athletic Association Small States of Europe (AASSE), a group of nine countries, plus Estonia, Ireland and Italy.
Jonas Egilsson, president of the AASSE, told www.insidethegames.biz that the nine countries had decided to vote for Coe as president and Bubka as vice-president. The group is made up of Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino.
Coe, who is also chairman of the British Olympic Association, is continuing to campaign hard - he is visiting Romania at the weekend to attend a regional athletics event involving Balkan countries, and then heading to Costa Rica for a similar event involving nations from north and central America.
He has been targeting the small nations and has promised an 'Olympic athletics dividend' to all of the IAAF's 214 member federations if he is elected. This pay-out would be funded through half of the fee received from the International Olympic Committee and would be more than 100,000 US dollars (£64,000) for each federation.News Now - Sport News