London bag 2012 Olympics

Agence France Presse

Singapore, July 6:

London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics in a vote by the International Olympic Committee pipping arch-rivals Paris in a dramatic finale.

London will become the first city to stage the Olym-pics for a third time after holding them in 1908 and 1948. Paris has now failed with three successive bids of 1992, 2008 and 2012.

Moscow was the first to fall in the opening round of voting by around 100 IOC members, followed by New York and Madrid in the second and third rounds. That left the two favourites, Paris and London, to battle it out for the supreme spoils in sports and London won the day.

Beijing hosts the next Games in 2008. London overhauled long-standing favourites Paris in the home stretch. Nine cities, with multi-million dollar bids, started the race 19 months ago.

It was the biggest field of Olympic candidates after the 1997 vote for the 2004 Games when 10 cities went into the ring against eventual winners Athens.