Tokyo 2020: Boris Johnson Congratulates Japan On Winning Olympic Games (PICTURES)

Boris Johnson Congratulates Tokyo On Winning Olympic Games

London mayor Boris Johnson has sent "huge congratulations" to Tokyo in being named as the host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In a tight race Tokyo was named as hosts by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires, ahead of rivals Istanbul and Madrid.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, Governor of Tokyo and Chairman of Tokyo 2020, Naoki Inose, second from left, and other members of the Japanese delegation celebrate as the IOC President announces that Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic Games

Still with the glow of the success of hosting the London 2012 Games, Johnson said that Tokyo had a lot of work to do but masses to look forward to. He said: "Huge congratulations to Tokyo for winning the honour of hosting the greatest sporting spectacular on the planet.

"I am sure that, like London, your great city will put on an extraordinary event. This is a magical moment of celebration to savour before the years of hard work ahead. Staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a tremendous privilege that unleashes golden opportunities for the host city. London has seen its transformative effect having embedded from the outset a long lasting legacy that reaches far beyond the weeks of sporting drama.

"We've been happy to welcome Rio to our city and we'll be delighted to share our experiences with Tokyo as they embark on their own journey to 2020."

British Olympic Association spokesman Daryl Seibel said: "We congratulate our friends in Tokyo and are confident that they will do a excellent job hosting the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2020.

"We also congratulate our colleagues and friends in Madrid and Istanbul on the quality of their bids. It is a reflection of the importance of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games to have three world class cities compete for this honour."

Tokyo, who last hosted the Games in 1964, had campaigned with the message that "the Olympics will be safe in our hands". It was heartbreak for Spanish sports fans as Madrid, who had failed in its bids to host the last two Olympic Games, was knocked out in the first round of voting.

Japanese supporters of the Tokyo Bid 2020 team celebrate

This left Tokyo and Istanbul in the final head-to-head. Istanbul, for a long time the front-runner in this race, has suffered a series of blows in recent months - beginning with the political protests in Istanbul earlier this summer, some of them on proposed Olympic venues, followed by a doping scandal, the jailing of political opponents and journalists, and now the looming war in neighbouring Syria.

Istanbul had almost the perfect sales pitch until then, talking of the first Games in a predominantly Muslim country and a meeting of east and west. Its bid team took a leaf out of London's book with 50 young ambassadors from sporting backgrounds as part of its final presentation.

Both Tokyo and Madrid pledged to spend a fraction of the cost of the London 2012 Games. Financial concerns have become the background to this race, especially with worries over the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and next year's winter games in Sochi being the most expensive ever.

Madrid 2020 boasted 80% of its venues are already in place and a construction budget of just £1.3 billion - London's comparable cost was £9 billion. The 2020 Games may be held thousands of miles away but it could create a boon for small British businesses.

On the back of their links with London's successful staging of the 2012 Games, many of them will be urged to try and sell their services and win contracts for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

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