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  Friday, 13 July, 2001, 19:53 GMT 20:53 UK
Seven years of scrutiny for Beijing
Beijing bid representative celebrate in Moscow
Beijing bid representative celebrate in Moscow
BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar gauges reaction to the IOC vote, which gave Beijing the 2008 Olympic Games.

Was the decision a surprise, and did any city do better or worse than expected?

No-one should really be surprised that the IOC membership chose Beijing ahead of the safer alternatives here in Moscow.

Whatever your opinion on China's suitability as an Olympic host, the fact is that a small club of invited members gives itself the right to decide on our behalf.

The IOC may be somewhat secretive; it may have become mired in controversy over a votes-for-favours scandal surrounding the Salt Lake City bid for next year's winter Games.

But it can't be accused of bowing to political correctness.

In the last couple of decades, the Games have gone behind the iron curtain in Moscow flouting the cold war, and been staged in Seoul, which could at best be described as an emerging democracy at the time.

Look at Russia now, look at Seoul.

China remains the last great enigma outside North Korea.

Now it faces seven years of scrutiny. Perhaps that's why IOC members were prepared to take the chance.

How was the decision received?

The vote was by secret ballot, so we have no way of knowing how the delegates voted.

But there's no doubt here in Moscow that the Chinese are euphoric.

A huge cheer from the assembled Asian press greeted the announcement of Beijing's victory and the winning bid team were suitably upbeat at their subsequent press conference.

What major hurdles does Beijing have to overcome before 2008?

In the case of Beijing, it needs to convince the doubters about its record on human rights.

IOC delegates also wanted assurances that all facilities promised will be completed to satisfactory Olympic standards by the time of the games.

And the city is under intense pressure to tackle its pollution problem.

Will any of the losing cities be encouraged to bid again?

Osaka's team will have to take a long hard look at their prospects after suffering first round elimination.

Istanbul are likely to have been heartened by a stronger than expected vote in the first round which saw them beat Paris into 3rd place.

Paris and Toronto, meanwhile, put on strong bids but fell way short of Beijing in the voting.

It will be interesting to see if they bid again after they've licked their wounds.


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