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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 00:33 GMT 01:33 UK
Cuba bids to host Olympics
Cuban world champion high-jumper Javier Sotomayor
Cuba has produced world class competitors

The Cuban capital, Havana, is to take on New York, Madrid and Moscow for the right to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Announcing their bid, which will be submitted on 5 May, the Cuban Olympic Committee emphasised the country's strong amateur and athletic tradition.

"Havana could stage excellent games," said the committee's president, Jose Ramon Fernandez.

"The main thing should be the true sporting spirit and the athletes, not a country's wealth, sponsors or television rights."

But Havana will face stiff competition.

The German city of Leipzig has also announced its candidacy and bids are in the offing from Paris, the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, and possibly London.

The deadline for bids is July and the city will be chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2005.

"I don't doubt we will have to build some new venues, but we already have the main ones," Mr Fernandez told a news conference in Havana.

He pointed out that the Cuban capital had previously staged major sporting events, including the Pan-American Games in 1991.

Cuba won 11 gold medals, 11 silver and seven bronzes in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, coming eighth in the medals table, one ahead of the UK.

The next summer games in 2004 will be held in Athens; in 2008 the host city will be Beijing.




SEE ALSO:
London's Olympic bid: the rivals
12 Dec 02  |  Other Sports
Moscow bids for 2012 Olympics
24 Apr 03  |  Other Sports
Madrid to bid for Olympics
21 Jan 03  |  SOL
London bid played down
20 Apr 03  |  SOL


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