Sep 8 2013, 12:00am CDT | by IANS
Madrid, Sep 8 — The news that Madrid fell in the first round of voting in the decision to elect the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games was greeted with shock and disappointment by crowds gathered in the city centre Saturday night.
Although most Spaniards had envisaged a close contest between the Spanish capital and Tokyo, the news that Madrid lost a vote-off against Istanbul was a major surprise, reports Xinhua.
Thousands of 'Madrilenos' had gathered in the hours prior to the announcement at a party organised at the Puerta de Alcala in the heart of the city, with the celebrations stretching down to the famous Cibeles fountain, where the city's famous football club, Real Madrid, traditionally celebrate their successes.
There were no celebrations for Real Madrid last season as they crashed out of every competition they competed in, despite being one of the most expensive squads in the world, but the expectations for the Madrid 2020 bid were different.
Rather than being built on big names and star signings, the third consecutive big by the Spanish capital to host the Olympic Games, the fourth overall, had its roots in the economic crisis that is still affecting Spain.
"Austerity" was very much the watchword in Madrid, as reflected by the fact that 28 of the 35 required venues are already in place, although some such as the Olympic Stadium, which will also be the future home of Atletico Madrid, do need extensive work carried out on them.
However, in a time of economic crisis, Madrid offered a project that already exists in bricks, mortar and concrete, compete with a transport infrastructure that is the envy of most European cities and a hotel capacity, which would not have needed stretching too much to cope with the needs of hosting the Games.
That turned out to not be the case as Madrid actually did worse this time around this time around that four years ago and the failure, and there is no other way to view what happened in Buenos Aires, must now lead to a rethink from the Spanish.
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