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London today won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games after a nailbiting wait in Singapore on Wednesday afternoon.


London today won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games after a nailbiting wait in Singapore on Wednesday afternoon.

After Moscow, New York then Madrid were eliminated in the early votong sessions, Lord Sebastian Coe's ambassadorial went head-to-head with Paris which has always been favourites to win. But the International Olympic Committee to the delight of the British delegation in the Far East, voted 54-50 to award the Games to London which last staged them in 1948.

Coe and his team

Coe and his team were elated that their lobbying particularly in the last two days had proved so successful in what was a very closely contested competition. "Choose London today and you send a clear message to the youth of the world - that the Olympic Games are for you," Coe told the IOC delegates in an inspirational speech. He insisted: "Some might say your decision is between five similar bids but that would undervalue the opportunity before us.

"In the past you have made bold decisions which have taken the movement forward in powerful and exciting ways. "It's a decision about which city will help us show a new generation their sport matters, that in a world of many distractions that Olympic sport matters, in the 21st century why the Olympic ideal matters so much. "On behalf of the youth of today and the Olympics of the future we humbly submit the bid of London 2012."
Paula Radcliffe

World marathon recored-holder Paula Radcliffe one of the leading ambassadors for the London 2012 bid, jumped off a massage couch when hearing on television of the success in Singapore. Radcliffe less than a minute after the successful announcement of a British victory was made, from her training base in Font Romeau - ironically in the French Pyrenees - expressed her personal delight and thanks to the bid team.

"I am really, really pleased," said  a  delighted Radcliffe. "I knew Paris had a great bid but I hoping and finally confident, we would be successful. "Seb's presentation was so much better than that of Paris's. He and his team have a done an outstanding job and I want to offer them my congratulations for a job done so professionally and well. "London will put on a brilliant Games, And yes, if I'm not crocked I hope to be running there," said Radcliffe who will only be 38 an ideal age for chasing an Olympic marathon title in 2012. 

Istvan Gyulai - IAAF

Istvan Gyulai general secretary of the International Association of Athletics Federations praised the quality of all five bidding cities but said London's was the best. Gyulai said: "I'm personally pleased, because for two years I worked in London and of course I was educated there.   

Then praising Lord Coe, he added: "His wonderful presentation not only won the race but his philosophy of reaching out to the youngsters of the world, was what made all of the difference. "Now I'm looking forward to seeing London having a new stadium which will be a great thing to restore its reputation for staging major events.  "All five bids were excellent but London's was the best," insisted Gyulai. I feel sorry for our French friends and the other bidding cities, but the best team won,"

Gyulai then lavished praise on Coe who is an IAAF Council member, suggesting that the former two-times Olympic 1500m champion has a great administrative career ahead of him.He said: "Today he is a man of the present, but I am sure he will become the man of the future. His role has made him a superstar. He can climb to the highest of positions." 
IAAF President Lamine Diack

IAAF President Lamine Diack has made the following statement following the election of London as the host city for the 2012 edition of the Olympic Games.
"I would like to congratulate London. There were five excellent candidates, which are all great cities and were all supported in Singapore by the highest political authorities.  "This shows how important the Olympic movement has now become and I believe that any of the candidates would have been capable of organising a great edition of the Olympic Games in 2012.  "On the day though, London's presentation was excellent, and this was a race with only one winner.

"The IAAF is pleased that London will host these Games in 2012 because Great Britain has always been a great country for sport and particularly our sport of athletics. 

"I was impressed by the plans to develop sporting facilities over the next years, and I would like to underline the fact that Britain will now have a permanent, state of the art stadium for athletics, and this is something we are very pleased about."

David Martin

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