Thomas Bach, a 59-year-old German attorney, was elected Tuesday as the new president of the International Olympic Committee.

He prevailed in the second round of voting at the IOC meeting in Buenos Aires, taking 49 votes to 29 for his closest rival, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico.

Next was Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, with six votes, followed by Denis Oswald of Switzerland with five and Ukraine's Sergei Bubka with four.

The sixth candidate, C.K. Wu of Taiwan, was eliminated on the first ballot.

Bach, who won the gold medal in fencing at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and currently heads the German Olympic committee, was seen as the favorite to succeed Belgium's Jacques Rogge as IOC chief after 12 years.

The German is a long-time member of the IOC's executive board and has chaired the international Olympic movement's legal commission.

Bach's triumph maintains Europe's grip on the IOC presidency, which has been occupied by a European for all but 20 of the 119 years since the founding of the modern Olympics.

Avery Brundage of the United States led the IOC from 1952-1972. EFE