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1993: Green light for Manchester Olympics
Officials in Manchester bidding to hold the 2000 Olympic Games have been told their chances are "very, very high".

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, was speaking after a series of presentations in the city's Town Hall.

He has been touring the north-west on the day after the IOC published its report on the technical suitability of the cities competing to host the 2000 Games.

The report puts Sydney as clear favourite, but gives credit to the British bid and raises doubts over Beijing. Brasilia fell well below the standard and many expect it to be dismissed from the contest.

When I find rain in a country I think always that is a very lucky country
Juan Antonio Samaranch
Chairman of the Manchester 2000 Olympic team Bob Scott said: "We've been striving for technical excellence and the report shows this has been delivered. The report shows that Manchester has a very strong bid."

Mr Samaranch and his entourage were shown the new facilities built and construction underway since their visit three years ago when Manchester was trying for the 1996 Games.

They travelled on the Metrolink tram system, went by helicopter to the equestrian centre at Haydock Park and saw the north Manchester velodrome, due for completion next year.

Earlier in the day the IOC visitors soaked up the community support at Sandilands Infant School in Sale and the Captain of Manchester United, Steve Bruce, showed off the club's silverware to remind them of the city's rich sporting traditions.

Even the rain did not dampen Mr Samaranch's familiar diplomacy: "When I find rain in a country I think always that is a very lucky country," he said.

The President and his team meet the British Prime Minister tomorrow.

The final decision about who will host the millennium Olympic Games will be made by the 90 members of the IOC in Monte Carlo on 23 September.

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Manchester 2000 Olympic logo
The official logo of Manchester 2000

In Context
Manchester failed to win the competition in September and the Games went to Sydney.

In 1998 there were reports that IOC members were bribed to elect Sydney as hosts, but an investigation found the Sydney bid team were guilty of "breaking the rules" rather than corruption.

The Sydney Olympics was the biggest games to date with 10,651 athletes competing in 300 events.

The games were held in Athens in 2004 and will be staged in Beijing in 2008.

On 6 July 2005 London was named as the host nation for the 2012 Olympic games after beating off tough competition from Paris.

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