Race hots up to host 2020 Games

TOKYO, Istanbul and Madrid submitted their bids to host the 2020 Olympics to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday.

The three cities will host an IOC delegation led by British vice- president Craig Reedie for four days before the winning bid is revealed in September. All three are due to publish details of their submissions to the public today.

Tokyo is thought to be favourite to land the 32nd Olympiad, although wild card Istanbul is known to be popular among some IOC members.

The shortlist of three is smaller than usual after Rome pulled out last year, having failed to receive the backing of the Italian government, and Doha and Baku were rejected in the first round by the IOC.

THE CANDIDATES

Tokyo

■ The bookies’ favourite, seen by many as a safe option, with much of the infrastructure already in place

■ Tokyo has hosted the Olympics once before, in 1964

■ Promises a “compact Games” with almost all competitions to be held within a 10km radius

■ The IOC’s technical report called Tokyo’s bid “a very strong application”

Istanbul

■ Offers a new Olympic location, and would be the first host with a majority Muslim population

■ The city has applied five times for the Games, always unsuccessfully

■ Bid received more national backing after Turkey’s offer to host football’s Euro 2020 failed

■ Despite being the least prepared in terms of infrastructure, the IOC said Istanbul “offers good potential”

Madrid

■ Outsider for the Games, despite coming third with its 2012 bid and second for 2016

■ Hindered by the economic troubles in Spain, which have cast doubts over their ability to put on the spectacle

■ Madrid has never hosted the Olympics, but Spain staged the 1992 Games in Barcelona