Organizers of Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympic Games said Tuesday public support for their campaign had risen to 77 percent as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspectors continued a fact-finding tour of three candidate cities. The support rate was up four points from January, the Tokyo bid committee said, citing its own telephone surveys. The rate started at 58 percent in July 2012.
A team from the IOC evaluation commission visited Tokyo from March 4 to 7 to scrutinize the bid and inspect existing and planned facilities for the Olympic Games. The team is due to end its four-day visit to Istanbul on Wednesday after a similar trip to Madrid last week.
The IOC inspection tour "enhanced public understanding of our bid activities and led to a rise in the support rate," a statement said. Tepid public support was seen as a reason for Tokyo's failure to secure the 2016 summer Olympic Games won by Rio de Janeiro.
The 100-plus IOC members will vote to choose the 2020 host city in Buenos Aires on September 7 after studying a technical report by the commission on the three bids.
The Tokyo bid committee said US sprint and long jump legend Carl Lewis has endorsed the Japanese city's bid.
"It's always wonderful to be back in Japan and I wish them the best of luck because I think they will put on a tremendous Games," Lewis said on Monday.
"I will be at the 2020 Games wherever it is, and I hope it's here."
AFP - Global Times