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Monday, 9th September 2013
In Japan Sports News,

Tokyo wins race to host 2020 Olympics

Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic Games after the Japanese capital fought off competition from Madrid and Istanbul to win a vote by the International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) in Buenos Aires Saturday.

The news was greeted with jubilant scenes both by members of the public who had gathered in Tokyo to watch the announcement of the IOC's decision.

Members of Tokyo delegation in Buenos Aires were also overcome with emotion with some even crying tears of joy as they received their reward for years of intense lobbying.

Earlier in the day, Madrid's bid had been rejected in the first round of voting by the IOC, making it the third straight time the Spanish capital has failed to win the right to host the summer games.

That left it up to a head-to-head vote between Tokyo and the Turkey's Istanbul. Tokyo, which at be seen before hand as the slight favourite and billed as a "safe pair of hands" to host the Olympics, won out 60 votes to 36.

It means Tokyo will become the first Asian city to host the Games twice, having previously done so in 1964.

Afterward, IOC president Jacques Rogge, whose 12-year term in office comes to an end Tuesday, September 10th, said it had been Tokyo's promise of delivering a "well-organised and safe Games" that had won over the IOC delegates.

“Tokyo presented a very strong technical bid from the outset – and it needed to in competition with two such high-calibre bids from Istanbul and Madrid," he said.

"All three cities were capable of staging excellent Games in 2020, but in the end it was Tokyo’s bid that resonated the most with the IOC membership."

Meanwhile, London mayor Boris Johnson, whose city hosted the most recent Games in 2012, sent a "huge congratulations to Tokyo".

"I am sure that, like London, your great city will put on an extraordinary event. This is a magical moment of celebration to savour before the years of hard work ahead," he added.

Written by Graham McPherson

Related news stories:
Chirac backs Tokyo's Olympics bid (14th October 2008)