Istanbul, Madrid, Tokyo stake claim to 2020 Olympics

St. Petersburg, May 31 (IANS) As the Russian city of St. Petersburg hosts the 2013 Sport Accord convention, delegates from the three cities short-listed for the right to host the 2020 Olympics – Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo – have been vigorously attempting to woo IOC members in attendance.

Istanbul has announced a $19 billion-budget for its Olympic bid, and has certainly won the attention of International Olympic Committee (IOC) voters with its plans for a plethora of new stadia and an overhaul of transport infrastructure, reports Xinhua.

Madrid, by contrast, is selling itself as the safe bet. Operating with only a 10th of their Turkish rival’s budget, the Spanish capital believes it can build on earlier investments in sporting facilities and public transport to put on a worthy games in their own right, and thereby hopefully attract investment to a country in the throes of economic crisis.

Tokyo, meanwhile, is presenting itself as the Asian candidate. With a budget of $4.5 billion and the invaluable experience of having hosted the Olympics in 1964, Tokyo is also hoping that a bit of Olympic spirit can help Japan bounce out of more than a decade of prolonged economic malaise.

The final decision on hosting rights for the 2020 Olympics will be made at the 125th IOC session in Buenos Aires Sep 7.

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