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Sapporo 2026 Olympic bid faces bullet as city eyes 2030

AFP  |  Tokyo 

- The Japanese city of is reconsidering plans to host the 2026 in favour of an improved bid for the 2030 Games, officials said on Monday.

Sapporo, which staged the in 1972, appears to have decided that waiting an extra four years for bullet train and road projects to be completed would give it a better chance of winning hosting rights.

"Sapporo's urban development is unlikely to be fully ready by 2026," told a joint conference with Japanese

"By 2030 they will be ready to a degree, so we are currently discussing whether to go forward with our bid for the 2026 Games along with the possibility of looking instead at 2030." Akimoto insisted had not yet decided to pull the plug on plans for 2026, but the northern city may also be conscious of the fact it would be Asia's third successive and fourth overall.

were held in Pyeongchang earlier this year, will be in and in

"We have heard (from Sapporo officials) that the city would have a better-prepared environment in 2030," said Takeda.

"It is essential for an Olympic host city to have that development and 'shinkansen' (bullet train) links. It will be a powerful factor in an Olympic bid." Sapporo is one of seven cities that have expressed interest in 2026, and faces competition from Calgary, Stockholm, Graz in Austria, the Swiss city of Sion, Erzurum in and a joint Italian bid from Cortina d'Ampezzo, and

The is expected to select the winner in September 2019.

Sapporo, located on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, could also face a strong challenge for 2030 if it opts to delay by four years, with former Olympic host cities Lillehammer (1994) and (2002) suggesting they were prepared to bid.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 14:00 IST
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