Madrid countdown to Olympics announcement

Spain's capital will hear on 7 September whether or not it has been successful in its third attempt to host the Olympic Games.

It is competing against Istanbul and Tokyo for the 2020 Games and hopes that its chances are high because it claims that 80 per cent of the infrastructure is already in place.

Madrid believes that it has a more realistic budget than its two competitors and has even cut spending from what it had planned to invest in its 2016 bid.

Its €2.37 billion budget is thought to considerably less than what either Tokyo – the present favourite in the betting – or Istanbul intend to spend. However Istanbul has announced in the last few days that it will spend the least of the three on what its sports minister has defined as “dedicated” Olympic projects.

The present desire to undercut rivals is a new trend in Olympic bidding, and it was only a year ago that Rome pulled out of the 2020 running because it realised that the cost of hosting the Olympics was not sustainable with its economic means. Recent protests in Brazil (the 2016 Olympics will be in Rio de Janeiro), have also raised a question mark over the feasibility of staging Olympic Games in modern times.

Spain has continued in its desire to host the Olympics, even though it has been hard-hit by the world economic crisis, because the preparations for its unsuccessful 2016 bid mean that it is already well prepared.

Spain came third in the running for the 2012 Olympics which were hosted London and second in the bid for 2016 which will be held in Rio de Janeiro.

Madrid's hopes are running high that its name will be announced in Buenos Aires on Saturday. Recent riots in Istanbul and the crisis in Syria are now casting clouds over the Turkish bid. And Japan, which appears to have all the necessary finance in the bag, is at present having to explain away fears about continuing leaks of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant destroyed by the 2011 tsunami.