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  Friday, 13 July, 2001, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Beijing handed Olympic Games
Beijing celebrates winning the Olympic Games
Victory sparked wild celebrations in the Chinese capital
Beijing has won the race to stage the 2008 Olympics.

The Chinese capital beat four other bidding cities, including Toronto and Paris, to secure the country's first-ever Olympics.

Osaka was the first city to be eliminated in the International Olympic Committee election held in Moscow on Friday.

But surprisingly, it only took one more round for Beijing to be confirmed as the preferred host.

  How the IOC voted
Round One:
Beijing (44), Toronto (20), Istanbul (17), Paris (15), Osaka (6)
OSAKA ELIMINATED
Round Two:
Beijing (56), Toronto (22), Paris (18), Istanbul (9)
BEIJING WINS

It polled 56 votes, defeating Toronto (22), Paris (18) and Istanbul (9).

The announcement, read out by outgoing Olympic president Juan Antonio Samaranch, was greeted with wild scenes of jubilation from the Chinese delegation in Moscow, and with fireworks in Beijing itself.

"Our efforts have paid off. The world has come to understand Beijing and China better," declared Wang Wei, secretary-general of the Beijing bid committee.

"There's a lot of hard work to do but I am confident we can hold an excellent Games. I think the world will come to understand us a lot better."

Beijing had lost the race for the 2000 Games by just two votes to Sydney - but there were no such dramas this time round.


We knew Beijing had a lot of strengths, it was theirs all along
Paul Henderson, Toronto bid committee

Despite criticism of its record on human rights, Beijing had been the front runner in the race from the start.

Toronto and Paris were expected to pose more of a challenge, but ultimately failed to even take the Chinese capital past the second round.

The first reaction to China's victory came from the International Amateur Athletic Foundation, who welcomed the decision.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said he was convinced Beijing would organise a "magnificent Olympic Games".

'Significant decision'

"By choosing Beijing, the International Olympic Committee has made a decision of great significance because now 1.3 billion people will feel completely integrated into the world sports movement."

Conceding defeat, Toronto's bid chief Paul Henderson said: "We did a great job but the odds were against us.

"We knew Beijing had a lot of strengths, it was theirs all along.

"We were fighting an uphill battle. I think Beijing had to make a major mistake and they didn't."

To secure the Games, Beijing and the Chinese government had agreed a substantial budget of more than US$14bn.

There are few venues that are currently up to standard, so the centre of the Games will be a giant Olympic Park on the northern outskirts of the city, and on an axis with some of Beijing's notable landmarks such as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC News' Adam Brookes in Beijing
"The human-rights record was not going to figure"
BBC News' Jane Standley in Toronto
"There's great disappointment in Canada"
The Guardian's Olympics correspondent Duncan Mackay
"The IOC did not ask the Beijing delegation about human rights"
Watch
the IOC announcement from Moscow

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Beijing's winning bid

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China gets first Games

Rogge wins presidency

Clickable guides

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See also:

13 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Links to more Olympic Votes stories are at the foot of the page.


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