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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 August, 2004, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Caborn admits London lags
UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn
Caborn has been visiting the Athens Games
UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn believes London is still trailing Paris in the race to host the 2012 Olympics.

But he hopes factors of London's bid will persuade the International Olympic Committee to award Britain the Games.

"I still think it's [the 2012 Games] for France to lose," Caborn told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

"We've now a very good chance and laid a very firm foundation to go forward to the candidate final in November and the big decision on 6 July 2005."

Caborn has been in Athens to help promote the British 2012 bid to the International Olympic Committee members and says the trip has been successful.

"What we have done is convince people we are very serious," he added. "There's a strong political commitment behind the bid and it's technically competent.

"Many people who wanted convincing are convinced we can deliver now. "

The good performances that we've had here will enhance our London 2012 chances
BOA chief Simon Clegg

And Caborn insisted that Prime Minister Tony Blair's presence in Greece was another feather in the cap for London's bid.

"Tony Blair was incredibly impressed by what the Olympics can do for a country and city," Caborn said.

"I know he'll be making sure wherever he can play a role he'll be doing that. He's absolutely 100% committed to the programme."

Speaking on the same programme, British Olympic Association chief executive Simon Clegg believes Team GB's medal-winning performances in Athens and the support they've had will help the 2012 bid.

"I genuinely believe that by having the good performances that we've had here will enhance our London 2012 chances of success," he said.

"The IOC want to feel comfortable and confident that the when they award the Games they do so to a nation that is going to score some home-country success."

"That, coupled with the quite unbelievable support that we've had from the British specatators out here, has sent a very, very strong message to the IOC as well."

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