Fi­nal stage the tough­est for Paris - 2024 bid leader

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

PARIS:

Paris is the hot favourite to win the right to host the 2024 Olympics Games but, hav­ing fallen at the fi­nal hur­dle be­fore, knows the hard­est part is yet to come - con­vinc­ing the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) its bid is the strong­est.

In July 2005 in Sin­ga­pore, Lon­don pipped an over-con­fi­dent Paris, which had lost out to Bei­jing for the 2008 Games, to win the right to stage the 2012 Sum­mer Olympics, trig­ger­ing tears in the French camp when the vote re­sults were an­nounced.

Paris has put to­gether a com­pact bid but three-times Olympic ca­noe­ing cham­pion Tony Es­tanguet, who leads the can­di­dacy with for­mer In­ter­na­tional Rugby Board pres­i­dent Bernard La­pas­set, warned that sell­ing the project will be key. “We’re ex­actly where we wanted to be at this time of the process. What’s left for us now is to go and sell our project,” Es­tanguet told Reuters at the Paris 2024 gen­eral as­sem­bly.

“We have learnt from past bids to come back stronger than Paris 2012 with ath­letes now at the heart of the can­di­dacy.” Paris last hosted the Games in 1924. The win­ner of the three-horse race be­tween Los Angeles, Paris and Bu­dapest will be an­nounced on Sept. 13, 2017 in Lima.

IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach re­cently said that the bid process was pro­duc­ing “too many losers”, and there was spec­u­la­tion that the 2024 and 2028 Games could be awarded si­mul­ta­ne­ously. “We have not been of­fi­cially con­tacted on that, so we stay on track and want to win the 2024 Olympics ac­cord­ing to ex­ist­ing rules,” Es­tanguet said.

Bet­fair have made Paris 8/13 favourites to win the IOC vote, ahead of Los Angeles (9/4) and Bu­dapest (9/2).

“I don’t be­lieve in odds and book­mak­ers,” Es­tanguet said.—Reuters

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