Cho to head Pyeongchang 2018 organising panel

Seoul: South Korean businessman Cho Yang-ho, who led Pyeongchang`s successful bid for the Winter Olympics, has been named as the new president of the organising committee for the 2018 Games.

"I have decided to take up this position to keep the promise I made with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host a successful Olympic Games," Cho said in a statement.

Cho replaces Kim Jin-sun, who abruptly resigned as president of the committee (POCOG) last week in the middle of a review by the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI).

An official at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism denied the BAI review was the reason behind Kim`s departure, which followed that of the vice president and secretary general of the committee, Moon Dong-hoo, who quit earlier this month.

Cho had initially said he would not take up the role as he was too busy with his work running the Hanjin Group conglomerate, which includes Korean Air.

"Since it was a tough decision, I will best utilise my experience as the head of the bidding committee and devote myself to making the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics Games successful," Cho added.

The IOC welcomed Cho`s appointment and said the governing body was looking forward to working with him once more.

"The election of Cho Yang-ho as President of the Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee underlines the importance that the Republic of Korea and the Korean sports movement places upon the success of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games," IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement.

"We are pleased that President Cho has been elected so quickly and that he will dedicate himself to this important national project.

"I welcome him back to the Pyeongchang team. I am sure that he will deliver great Olympic Winter Games for the athletes in 2018."

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