July 7, 2011 / 9:22 AM / in 9 years

S.Korea's Busan pulls plug on 2020 Games bid

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s Busan has decided not to bid for the 2020 summer Olympics after the IOC’s decision to award the 2018 Winter Games to Pyeongchang made it “impossible” to win the hosting rights, the mayor of the southern port city said on Thursday.

Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik congratulated Pyeongchang for its successful 2018 bid announced by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday, but the rustic mountain town’s success meant Busan had to change its plans, he added.

Pyeongchang had bid twice before and gone agonisingly close to victory before losing to Vancouver of Canada for the 2010 Games and to Sochi of Russia for 2014.

“Pyeongchang’s hosting the 2018 Winter Games makes our bid for the 2020 Summer Games impossible, so a change in strategy is inevitable,” Hur told a briefing.

“We will be working gradually, with the people of Busan, to host the 2024 or 2028 Summer Games.”

Rome is the only city which has formally announced its intention to bid for the 2020 Games, while Japan’s Olympic bid leaders said on Thursday they would analyse the impact Pyeongchang’s success might have on their hosting ambitions.

“Many IOC members say summer is summer and winter is winter,” Japan Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda told local media on Thursday.

“But we would like to analyse the (possible) influence (of Pyeongchang’s win) and make a decision.”

Potential host cities have until September to lodge applications to bid for the 2020 and 2024 Games.

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