25 May 2012

Istanbul, Madrid, Tokyo only cities left bidding for 2020 Games

5:16 am on 25 May 2012

The race to host the 2020 Summer Games is now a three-way battle between Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo after the International Olympic Committe dropped Qatar's Doha and Azerbaijan's Baku as candidates.

The shortlist of candidates to host the world's biggest multi-sports event was announced in Quebec.

Baku, which has invested more than a billion dollars in sports venues in the past 10 years, was bidding for a second successive time after missing out on the 2016 Games.

Doha, which was proposing to hold the 2020 Olympics in October rather than the usual July-August schedule to avoid the Gulf Arab state's searing summer heat, is already hosting the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.

The IOC will announce the winner between bids from Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul in September next year.

Rome dropped its bid in February due to the country's efforts to head off a debt crisis.

London will host the 2012 Summer Games while the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro will stage the 2016 Olympics.