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Dublin: 7°C Monday 26 October 2020
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Olympic bidding race down to three

Where do you want to go in 2020 – Tokyo, Madrid or Istanbul?

Image: Themba Hadebe/AP/Press Association Images

THE RACE TO host the 2020 Olympics is down to three after Qatar’s Doha and Azerbaijan’s Baku were dropped as potential host cities.

Tokyo (Japan), Madrid (Spain) and Istanbul (Turkey) are the final three cities in the running, with the International Olympic Committee delivering the bad news to the failed bidders on Wednesday.

Doha, bidding to be the first city to bring the Olympics to the Middle East, had been granted an exception to host the Games in October and November when temperatures in the Middle East country are not as blistering hot, instead of the usual July and August.

But the subsequent furore after Qatar was awarded the 2022 football World Cup, according to some, made IOC members reluctant to suffer the same bad press as FIFA did.

For Baku, a lack of infrastructure and experience in hosting a major sporting event cost proved to be its downfall.

The remaining three candidate cities must now prepare a detailed description of their plans to host the Olympics and also face a visit from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission.

The winner will be announced in Buenos Aires in September 2013.

Tokyo is the only one of the candidates to have hosted the Olympics, doing so in 1964, and is tipped as the early favourites.

Madrid was also a finalist for 2012. The last Spanish city to host an Olympics was Barcelona, which staged the 1992 summer Games.

Istanbul’s chances were seen as taking a hit when Turkey also announced they were bidding for the 2020 European football championship.

IOC rules state that a Games host country cannot hold another major sports event in the same year.

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