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Tokyo to host 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo to host 2020 Olympic Games
September 8, 2013

Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games ahead of Istanbul and Madrid.

The Japanese capital won a final round of voting by International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Buenos Aires to beat Istanbul by 60-36 votes.

Madrid had earlier been eliminated in a first-round ballot.

The announcement was met with jubilant scenes in Japan, as Tokyo prepares to host the event for the first time since 1964.

When IOC President Jacques Rogge - who will retire after 12 years in the role on Tuesday - announced the winning city, the Tokyo delegation jumped to their feet in celebration and waved the Japan flag.

A number of them were overcome with emotion and wept, after two years of intense lobbying.

A delighted Prime Minster Shinzo Abe stated "I would like to thank everyone in the Olympic movement and we will host a wonderful Olympic Games."

Bid leader Tsunekazu Takeda added "it is a great honour that Tokyo has been chosen. The first thing I will do when I return is to thank all of Japan."

The decision means Tokyo - which campaigned with the message that "the Olympics will be safe in our hands" - will become the first Asian city to host the Games twice, having first staged the Olympics in 1964.

The city was also awarded the event in 1940 but the Games were cancelled because of World War II.

The success of the Tokyo bid followed a personal address from the Japanese prime minister during the presentation stage, in which he allayed fears over the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant 240 kilometres from the city by saying: "It has never done, and will never do, any damage to Tokyo."

The plant had been leaking radiation after an earthquake and tsunami hit the north east of the country in 2011.

Prime Minster Abe's presentation also revealed the role sport had played in boosting the country in the past two years and pointed out that no Japanese athlete had failed a drugs test at an Olympics or Paralympics.

It added sponsorship would reach record levels and 10 new permanent sports venues would be constructed, including the Olympic Stadium, which will be finished by 2019 in time to host the Rugby World Cup.

For Istanbul, their campaign had not been able to overcome concerns about serious political unrest in the country, a series of doping scandals among the country's athletes, the jailing of political opponents and journalists, plus the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

If it had been successful, Istanbul, which registered its fifth failed bid, would have been the first Games in a predominantly Muslim country.

6th March 2013 - TOKYO’S 2020 OLYMPIC BID IS ‘SECOND TO NONE’

24th November 2012 - ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS WIN COMPETITION TO REDESIGN JAPAN’S NATIONAL STADIUM

1st June 2011 - TOKYO SET FOR 2020 OLYMPIC BID


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