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Tokyo to host 2020 Olympic Games

ESPN staff
September 7, 2013
Tokyo's bid team erupted with joy when it was revealed their city will host the 2020 Olympics © Getty Images

Tokyo has been given the honour of hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games after seeing off Istanbul in the final International Olympics Committee vote.

The Japanese capital enjoyed a majority 60-36 vote win over Istanbul following each city's 45 minute presentation to the IOC in Buenos Aires, and as a result becomes the first Asian city to host the Games twice, having previously hosted them in 1964.

Earlier on Saturday, Madrid was eliminated at the first stage of voting after losing out to the Turkish city 49-45 in a tie-breaker. Both cities were tied after the original first vote.

The Japanese delegation celebrated wildly as outgoing IOC president Jacques Rogge confirmed the outcome, while huge crowds who had gathered around Tokyo rejoiced in jubilation at hearing the news.

However, each campaign had been tarnished by negative headlines in the build-up to the vote.

Tokyo had been seen as a slight favourite before the procedure began, but its status has been put into question by concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima plant - 150 miles from the city.

But Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared to calm fears in his address to the committee during the final presentation.

"I shall take the responsibility to implement programmes to render this situation completely problem-free and I say that most emphatically and unequivocally," Abe said.

Istanbul, dogged by the war in neighboring Syria and possible Western military strikes against Bashar Assad's regime, appeared to be the outsider in pre-result betting and was bidding for a fifth time.

It proved to be yet more heartbreak for Turkey while Madrid, whose odds had shortened dramatically in spite of Spain suffering from a severe recession and 27% unemployment rate, experienced disappointment for a second consecutive bid, having lost out to 2016 hosts Rio de Janeiro at the final stage in 2009.

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