The three candidate cities for the
2020 Olympics held presentations before a major sports convention as
Russian president Vladimir Putin expressed hope that wrestling will
still be on the Games agenda in eight years time.
Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo presented their bid at the SportAccord convention in St Petersburg which is also hosting an International Olympic Committee executive board meetings.
Some 30 IOC members were in town as the three cities pledged safe and financially healthy Games with compact concepts and full stadiums.
It was the first bigger pitch of the trio which came in the wake of visits by an IOC evaluation commission in February and March.
With IOC members no longer allowed to visit bid cities, Thursday's presentations and those on July 3 and 4 at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, are important ahead of the deciding vote at the IOC Session in September in Buenos Aires.
There the Session will also elect one sport for the 2020 programme and Putin joined those calling for wrestling to take the place at a lunch with IOC members.
Putin was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying at a lunch with members of the International Olympic Committee that wrestling was among the "fundamental sports" at the Olympics.
Wrestling was provisionally dropped from the 2020 Olympics by the IOC executive board three months ago, but the sport underwent big changes to make itself more appealing, and joined squash and softball/baseball on a IOC shortlist Wednesday for inclusion in 2020.
Putin expressed hope for a just decision that which will "help strengthen the Olympic Movement."
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