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Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-06

France on Wednesday was awaiting the verdict on its bid to stage the 2018 Winter Olympics in Annecy. The South Korean city of Pyeongchang is the hot favourite to win with Munich in Germany also in the running.

REUTERS - The South Korean city of Pyeongchang starts as favourite to win the right to stage the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday but Germany’s Munich and Annecy of France still nurture hopes of wresting it from them.

The three bids make their final presentations to more than 100 members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at Durban’s International Conference Centre early on Wednesday.

IOC President Jacques Rogge will announce the winner at a ceremony being broadcast live starting at 1500 GMT.

Pyeongchang was narrowly beaten by Vancouver of Canada in the contest to stage the 2010 Games and by the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi for the 2014 Olympics, again being pipped at the post in a second round of voting.

The South Korean delegation, including the country’s president Lee Myung-bak and women’s Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yuna, is seeking to take the Winter Games to Asia for only the third time—and the first since Nagano in Japan in 1998.

Munich, whose bid is led by Katarina Witt—one of the most celebrated figure skating champions of all time—would become the first city to stage both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The city, which staged the 1972 Summer Games, would host the ice events with the renowned Alpine ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen the centre for mountain sports.

Annecy, a lakeside French city in the Alps, would also use a famous ski resort in Chamonix in a bid which is spread around a region which last hosted the Winter Games in 1992 in nearby Albertville.

Each of the cities will make a 70-minute presentation of speeches and films to the IOC membership. Munich opens at 0645 GMT, followed by Annecy at 0825 GMT and Pyeongchang closing at 1005 GMT.

Before the vote is taken, the IOC’s evaluation commission, which has conducted exhaustive research into all three bids and visited each venue earlier this year, will present its report.

To win the right to host the Games, candidates have to get more than 50 percent of the votes. If none succeeds in doing so in the first round, the city with the fewest votes will be eliminated and IOC members will vote on the final two in a second round.

Rogge does not vote but has a casting vote in the event of a tie. Members from countries bidding are not eligible to vote while their candidate is still in the contest.

Date created : 2011-07-06


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