By Tom Degun

sir_craig_reedie_08-08-11August 9 - Britain's International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member Sir Craig Reedie has admitted that he is delighted to see the race for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games feature a number different contenders after early concerns that there might only be one bidder.

The Italian capital of Rome was for a long period the only confirmed contender to host the event, leading to speculation that the battle to host 2020 Games would be a one-horse race.

However, in recent months, Rome has been officially joined in the 2020 race by Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo, while there may also be bids from the Qatari capital Doha and the South African city of Durban before the IOC deadline is reached on September 1.

Sir Craig played a crucial role in bringing the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to London at the IOC Session in Singapore in 2005 when he was then chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA).

The race for 2012 saw London up against Moscow, Madrid, New York and favourites Paris, with the capital overhauling their French rivals to claim a dramatic victory, and Sir Craig believes the race for 2020 could now emulate that famous battle that saw London unexpectedly triumph.

"I'm delighted to see that the race for the 2020 Games will feature several different candidates from different parts of the world," Sir Craig told insidethegames.

"The race for 2012 is without a doubt the best race for the Olympics and Paralympics the IOC have ever had.

"There was such excitement as we had five major players with Moscow, Madrid, New York, Paris and obviously London.

"The 2016 race was also very distinguished with Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio all involved.

"There was a momentary concern when we had one candidate competing for 2020 when only Rome had declared an interest.

"Rome is an amazing city and could undoubtedly host a superb Olympics in 2020 but there are clear problems if there is only one city involved in a bid race.

"But now it looks like a real competition between at least four very strong contenders.

"We have Madrid back again, who are presumably thinking along the Pyeongchang 2018 lines of third time lucky.

"We also have Tokyo back after a fantastic bid last time out and they are popular after they ran the Games wonderfully well in 1964.

"We also have Istanbul there who are one of the new and coming cities in the world complete with ancient traditions.

"So I think the race for 2020 is now shaping up very nicely indeed and the IOC is delighted to have such a fantastic combination of different bids.

"Hopefully we could see something like we saw in Singapore in 2005 when London won that amazing race to be able to host 2012."

The IOC is due to choose the host city at its Session in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013.

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