Past failure makes Madrid's 2016 bid stronger: mayor

MADRID Thu Jun 5, 2008 12:07pm BST

MADRID (Reuters) - Madrid have learned lessons from their failed 2012 bid which makes them stronger for their push to hold the 2016 Olympics, according to the city's mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon.

The Spanish capital was named along with Chicago, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro as one of the four possible hosts for the event, by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.

"In 2012 we were up against four great cities (Paris, London, Moscow and New York) and obtained an extraordinarily positive valuation although we didn't achieve the ultimate objective," Ruiz-Gallardon told sports daily Marca on Thursday.

"In 2012 we were an unknown with promise, for 2016 we are well-known and a reality. We have matured, have more experience and have honed our project into a compact package. We have made changes which strengthen the bid."

The Chief Executive of the project, Mercedes Coghen said: "We are very pleased with the results of the technical working group report. In the opinion of the IOC working group two cities were ranked 'neck and neck' as the best technical bids.

"In six of the 11 categories that were evaluated Madrid was top, based on average marks. Madrid also achieved better marks in nine categories than for the 2012 bid."

Coghen went on to play down fears that as London were hosting the 2012 games, talk of a rotation policy might work against the idea of consecutive games being awarded to Europe.

"It's a competition between cities and projects, not continents. After an 'Asian' Games in Beijing, and an 'Anglo-Saxon' Games in London, why not a 'Latin and Mediterranean' games," she said.

(Writing by Mark Elkington, editing by Martin Petty)

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