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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Chirac 'disappointed' in defeat
President Chirac
Mr Chirac puts on a brave face on his arrival at Gleneagles
French president Jacques Chirac said he was "obviously disappointed" after Paris lost out to London in the vote to host the 2012 Olympics.

But Mr Chirac, who has arrived at the G8 summit at Gleneagles from Singapore, also offered his "warm personal congratulations" to London.

In an earlier statement, he thanked those who had worked on the Paris bid.

He said the French team had shown "commitment, professionalism and the spirit of fair-play".

Philippe Baudillon, head of the Paris bid, tried to remain philosophical after losing out to London.

"We are very, very disappointed but it was a very good competition," he said after London edged the verdict by 54 votes to 50.

"We thought we could win but obviously we did not. That's life."

Paris, which hosted the Games in 1900 and 1924, has now failed in its three attempts to win the Games since 1992.

I don't know what else we could have done. If we don't have it now, I guess we will never get it
NBA star Tony Parker, part of French delegation

The city had been the long-time favourite to host the 2012 Olympics but was ultimately pipped at the post by London.

Thousands of people had gathered in the centre of Paris to watch the IOC vote unfold but there was a stunned silence when it was announced that London had won.

Henri Serandour, president of the French National Olympic Committee, warned that it could be some time before Paris bids again to host the the Games.

"It will be a while before we become a candidate again, whether it be the summer games or the winter games."

NBA star Tony Parker, who had been part of the Paris delegation in Singapore, was very downbeat after the result.

"I don't know what else we could have done. If we don't have it now, I guess we will never get it," he said.

"The IOC seems to be very pro-Anglo-Saxon. I feel extremely gutted."

Former Olympic judo gold medalist Thierry Rey, who was also an ambassador for the French bid, was also dismayed by the IOC's decision.

Crowds in Paris watch as London are declared the winners
A stunned silence greeted the news of London's victory

"This is an enormous disappointment, we don't understand what is happening, this is a massive slap in the face," he said.

"We did all we could, we don't know what else we could have done. We thought our bid was exceptional."

Ex-Olympic judo champion David Douillet, also part of the French capital's support team, added: "There is not much logic to all this.

"One could have hoped for a carry-over of votes after Madrid went out, but that was not the case. "

He added: "We did our maximum and we shouldn't be ashamed of anything. We must lose with dignity. The London bid was stronger and we must accept it."

French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour said: "We had a beautiful bid and we can be proud of ourselves.

Lamour, a former Olympic fencing champion, added: "We will continue to develop sport in our country even though I think we will have to wait for a long time now before seeing the Olympics in Paris.

"We have the experience, the enthusiasm and the love for the Games. That makes the disappointment all the more difficult to cope with."




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