IOC chief says quality not continents count for 2020 Summer Olympics bids

13:53, July 15, 2011      

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International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said on Thursday that Tokyo's possible bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics will in no way be influenced by Pyeongchang in South Korea hosting the 2018 Winter Games.

The IOC awarded Pyeongchang the 2018 Winter Games last week, beating stiff competition from both Munich and Annecy as the Games' host city.

However, some believe that Pyeongchang's success will adversely affect Tokyo's bid for the summer games to be held just two year later, being that South Korea and Japan are in a similar geographical location.

Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda had hinted that Tokyo may decide not to bid for the 2020 Games if the South Korea came up trumps in its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

"There is no rule like that. We go for quality of bids. We don't go for continents," Rogge said at a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

The IOC president went on to highlight cases in which both successive Summer and Winter Olympics had been held to great success on the same continent.

The winter games were hosted by Albertville, France, in 1992 and Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994, Rogge noted, and then the summer games took place in Athens in 2004, followed by the winter games in Torino two years later.

"That's absolutely not a problem," Rogge said on the issue. "I think there is a perception that there is an automatic rotation of continents and this is not the case. We go for quality, not continents," he said.

Rogge added that South Korea's success, following two failed prior attempts showed the perseverance of the nation and underpins ever-growing examples of "Asia on the rise."

Tokyo will announce its final decision as to whether it will bid for the 2020 Olympics this week, sources close to the matter said.

The IOC delegation led by Rogge is visiting to Japan to take part in the Japanese Olympic Committee's centennial celebrations and to show support for the victims of the March 11 twin disasters and those suffering from the ongoing nuclear crisis centered in Fukushima prefecture, in the northeast of the country.

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