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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 19:31 GMT 20:31 UK
Paris heads Olympic race - report
Paris has a one-point lead over London in the race to host the 2012 Olympics, according to a new rankings list.

The Around The Rings magazine, which focuses on Olympic matters, gave London 85 out of a possible 110 points for its performance in 11 categories.

London earned full marks for its plans to regenerate the Lower Lea Valley but was marked down when it came to the cost of staging the Games.

Paris scored highly in the "ambiance" and "transportation" categories.

The magazine stresses that the rankings just focus on factors IOC members may consider when they cast their votes rather than predicting which city will win the election.

It feels like a race that is too close to call at this stage
Mike Lee
London 2012

London 2012 communications director Mike Lee was delighted with the latest statistics.

"This latest piece of analysis confirms what we are hearing in our own campaign work," he said.

"There is a sense that London has a real momentum in this race and that technically there is very little to choose between the candidates.

"It feels like a race that is too close to call at this stage."

But Petr Vassiliev, of the Moscow bid, told bbcrussian.com that he was sceptical about such ratings.

The valuation commission said that all the cities are in the same position and that Moscow is not an outsider
Petr Vassiliev
Moscow bid

"Over the last two years, Around the Rings magazine stubbornly rate us on the last place out of five cities," he said.

"We don't comment on the cities' ratings if they are unofficial. And this one is. It's ridiculous to comment on that.

"We don't know the criteria of the method they use.

"The valuation commission head Nawal El Moutawakel said that all the cities are in the same position and that Moscow is not an outsider. And there are no official ratings - that's the whole point."

Of the other candidates, New York, with 77, holds a two-point advantage over Madrid. Moscow is in last place with 66.

Meanwhile, another Olympic bid index, www.gamesbids.com, which attempts to reflect IOC members' voting patterns, has London narrowing the gap on Paris to 2.5 points after "a continuously aggressive style and highly competitive plan that will attract the attention of IOC members".

The index still has Paris ahead on 65.8 points, saying: "A fundamentally strong plan makes the Paris bid the top contender in the race."

The decision of which city to award the 2012 Olympic Games will be made in Singapore on 6 July.




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