Buenos Aires, Sep 8 — Tokyo has beaten Istanbul and Madrid in the race to host the 2020 Olympics after two rounds of voting during the 125th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) here.
Tokyo received 60 votes to Istanbul’s 36 in the final round Saturday, with Madrid having been eliminated in the first round after losing a tie-breaker with the Turkish city.
Tokyo previously hosted the Games in 1964 and will become the first Asian city to host the sporting extravaganza twice. The Japanese capital had also bid for the 2016 Summer Games.
“Congratulations to Tokyo on its election as host of the 2020 Olympics,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge, whose 12-year term in office comes to an end Sep 10.
“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. All three cities were capable of staging excellent Games but in the end it was Tokyo’s bid that resonated the most with the IOC membership, inviting us to “discover tomorrow” by delivering a well-organised and safe Games that will reinforce the Olympic values while demonstrating the benefits of sport to a new generation,” he added.
Tokyo received the most number of votes, 42, in the first round to advance. Istanbul and Madrid got 26 votes each before the latter was beaten in the tie-breaker 49-45.
Some supporters of Istanbul had initially thought the Turkish city had been awarded the Olympics before Rogge clarified that Istanbul had merely entered the second round.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “I would like to thank everyone in the Olympic movement and we will host a wonderful Games.”
Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda, who led the bid, 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 IOC will Sunday decide which one out of squash, wrestling and baseball/softball is added to the 2020 Olympic programme.