Cities make final pitches ahead of 2020 vote

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — With major risks surrounding each bid, the three cities vying for the 2020 Olympics are making their final pitches in a tight race that could be decided by just a few votes.

Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo were each given 45-minute slots to make their final presentations Saturday morning ahead of the vote later in the day by the International Olympic Committee.

Istanbul, making its fifth overall bid, was up first. The Turkish delegation pressed its case to take the Olympics for the first time to a predominantly Muslim country, to a city linking the two continents of Europe and Asia.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said taking the games to Istanbul would “send a very meaningful and strong message, not only to the world, but to our broader region.”

The war in neighboring Syria has been a major issue for the Istanbul bid.

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