Tokyo 2020 says bid has stronger geographic advantage

Reuters, Friday 10 Aug 2012

Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics has a better chance of success than when it sought the 2016 Games given the geographical spread of its rivals, bid chief Tsunekazu Takeda said on Friday

Tokyo faces only two cities, Madrid and Istanbul, campaigning for the 2020 Olympics as opposed to four rivals last time.

Istanbul is divided into a European and an Asian side, making Tokyo the only wholly Asian bid.

"I think it is a big difference this time," Takeda, an IOC member and also head of Japan's Olympic Committee, told Reuters.

"Last time it was spread out around four continents. This time it is two from Europe and one from Asia. I think this is better for us."

Tokyo failed to win the 2016 Olympics that were awarded to Rio de Janeiro which will be the first South American city to host the biggest multi-sports event. Chicago and Madrid were also unsuccessful in their campaigns for the 2016 Games.

Despite a growing Asian presence on the Olympic map, Takeda said this was not a drawback.

Beijing hosted the Games in 2008 while South Korea's Pyeongchang will stage the 2018 winter Olympics.

"(IOC President) Jacques Rogge said the winter and summer Games are a totally different thing and Tokyo is not in a disadvantage. There are different dynamics."

"Asia is becoming stronger. The economy is coming up and sports is increasing."

The Japanese capital is also planning to use the Games as a way to recover from a deadly earthquake and tsunami last year that triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

The disaster left up to 20,000 people dead or missing.

"The 2016 bid has been enhanced as part of the recovery effort. Many IOC members and sports people have understood that our young people need this hope for the future."

The International Olympic Committee will elect the winning bid next year.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sportsand on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

Short link: