Tokyo wins 2020 Olympics
Istanbul eliminated in 2nd round of voting to host 2020 Summer Games
- Istanbul and Tokyo still in running to host 2020 Summer Games
- Final results expected after 4 p.m.
- IOC also voting on a new sport and new president
Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic Games.
The Japanese capital beat out Istanbul, Turkey in the final round of voting Saturday afternoon. Madrid was eliminated in the first round of voting at IOC meetings in Buenos Aires.
Tokyo stressed its safety and certainty following the problems in Sochi and Rio de Janeiro.
The Spanish capital had boasted its low-budget pitch would become a model for future games, and Istanbul pointed to a first Olympics in Turkey and first in a majority Muslim country.
The IOC will also vote on a new president and a new Olympic sport this weekend as well.
Japan's Prime Minister says the country's nuclear contamination crisis is "under control" and should not affect Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
Shinzo Abe joined Team Japan's final presentation to the International Olympics Committee before Saturday's vote to select either Tokyo, Istanbul or Madrid.
Abe addressed concerns about the Fukishima nuclear plant, saying, "Let me assure you the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo."
Japan's Olympic Committee president, Tsunekazu Takeda, says "vote for Tokyo and you vote for guaranteed delivery."
Hiroshi Hase, a former Olympic wrestler and member of the Japanese parliament, minimized the problem with a detailed presentation — a strategy that has been lacking for several days as Japanese officials struggled with the subject.
"It is a fact," he said. "There is a very limited area where contaminated water is leaking out in the port.... But we will monitor it, remove it and contain it. That is the gist of the strategy."
Istanbul, making its fifth overall bid, was up first in Friday's presentations. The Turkish delegation pressed its case to take the Olympics for the first time to a predominantly Muslim country, to a city linking the continents of Europe and Asia.
Istanbul said that having the Games in the city would send a "strong message of peace" at a "critical moment" in the region.
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that if the IOC had awarded the games to the city, "we will send a very meaningful and strong message, not only to the world, but to our broader region."
The civil war in neighbouring Syria has been one of the greatest challenges for Istanbul's bid.
Istanbul also promised to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on doping and promoted the nation's strong economy.
Spain's economic struggles, highlighted by a 27 per cent unemployment rate, were seen as the main weakness of Madrid's bid heading into the IOC meetings.
"We believe that having a responsible budget represents the new way to understand the Games," Madrid Mayor Ana Botella said. "We believe that it's a new model to organize the games at a time marked by political and economic turbulence around the world."
Madrid officials had tried to assure IOC members that the economic problems don't pose a significant challenge for the Games and that having a proposal based on economic austerity is something positive for the future of the Olympic movement.
"We are proposing a new model of Games which are adjusted to the current times," Botella said Friday, before Madrid was eliminated. "We believe that having this type of budget is something really good for the future, because otherwise there would be many cities in the world which would not be capable of hosting the Games."
Madrid lost its third straight attempt to host the Summer Games. It had claimed that its budget would have been one of the lowest Olympic budgets ever, with 80 per cent of venues already in place in a compact layout.
"We are trying to show that our candidacy is adjusting to what the Olympic movement wants," Madrid bid leader Alejandro Blanco had said.
The 2014 Sochi Games in Russia will be the most expensive in Olympic history, and the 2016 Rio Games have also been seen as an expensive endeavour for Brazil.
"We have a new model of Games which could become the norm in the world that we live now," Botella said.
With files from CBC