Peter Mennel has gained the final EOC Executive Committee position ©ÖOC/GEPA

Austrian Olympic Committee secretary general Peter Mennel has won a thrilling tie breaker election by a single vote against Russian opponent Yury Yuriev to gain the final position on the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Executive Committee.

Mennel triumphed by 25 votes to 24 here today in a closed election held during the EOC General Assembly in which one ballot was deemed "invalid".

Both candidates had initially tied in joint 12th place with 26 votes in elections yesterday for the 12 positions on the continental body's ruling board.

The tie breaker was pushed back overnight due to time restrictions - allowing one more frantic evening of lobbying.

"I am inclined to take both of you," joked EOC President Janez Kocijančič after the result was announced.

"This election was between the good and the good."

Yuriev, a relatively unknown figure internationally who is head of the organisational department at the Russian Olympic Committee, was considered to be handicapped by his nationality in the midst of the ongoing investigations into Russian doping at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.

But his strong showing signified how the country still draws significant support which was thought likely to have largely arisen from Eastern Europe.

The result means, however, that Russia will no longer be represented on the EOC Executive Committee following the departure of the organisation's former vice-president Alexander Kozlovsky.

Delegates pose together during the EOC General Assembly ©EOC
Delegates pose together during the EOC General Assembly ©EOC

Mennel, a banker by trade who is also involved in flying and extreme mountaineering, is also chair of the EOC Marketing and Communications Commission and served as head of the 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival in Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein.

He also played a key role in Innsbruck's attempt to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games before it was thwarted by an unsuccessful referendum last month.

Greece's Spyros Capralos and Serbia's Djordje Visacki led the 11 figures elected to the Executive Committee yesterday with a joint leading total of 41 votes.

Jean-Michel Brun of France followed closely with 40 while Andrzej Krasnicki of Poland and Zlatko Matesa of Croatia each managed 37.

Daina Gudzineviciute of Lithuania and Liney Rut Halldorsdottir of Iceland were the two female candidates elected, with 36 and 33 votes respectively.

Josef Liba of Slovakia and Alejandro Blanco of Spain - who was absent after suffering a fall which required surgery en-route to Zagreb - each garnered 31 votes.

Britain's Bill Sweeney and Turkey's Hasan Arat were also successful with 29 and 28 votes respectively.

Niels Nygaard of Denmark, Italy's Raffaele Pagnozzi and Kikis Lazarides of Cyprus were elected to the respective positions of vice-president, secretary general and treasurer.