x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Baku learn from experience after failed 2016 bid

The capital city of Azerbaijan aims to host the Olympic Games in 2020.

BAKU // The capital city of oil-rich Azerbaijan is bidding for the 2020 Olympics.

Azerbaijan's National Olympic Committee said on Thursday that it submitted an application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Baku joins Madrid, Rome, Tokyo, Istanbul and Doha, among the 2020 bid contenders.

The deadline for national Olympic bodies to submit bids was last night. The IOC will announce the list of candidates on Friday.

It will be the second consecutive Olympic bid from Baku, which failed to make the list of finalists for the 2016 Games.

Konul Nurulleyeva, the Azerbaijan committee spokeswoman, said the experience gained from the 2016 bid would help Baku mount an improved challenge this time.

Nurulleyeva said Baku's application was filed two weeks ago, only days after Azerbaijan's sporting authorities denied they would bid for the games.

Nurulleyeva said a stadium is already being built for the Olympics on the outskirts of Baku and will be completed by next year.

No specific details are yet available about the amount of funds the former Soviet republic is prepared to invest in the project.

Azerbaijan's main Olympic successes to date have been in sports such as boxing, wrestling and judo.

Full bid dossiers must be submitted to the IOC in January. The IOC will decide in May which of the cities will be accepted as finalist candidates. The 2020 host city will be selected in September 2013 in Buenos Aires.