London in final five to host Olympics

London made it on to a shortlist of five candidates to stage the Olympic Games in 2012 yesterday but was warned it must make significant improvements if it is to stand a chance of winning the bid.

The International Olympic Committee also gave its approval to Paris, New York, Madrid and Moscow to proceed to the final vote in July next year, and rejected four other cities which it ruled were not up to organising the Games.

Members of the IOC's executive board, meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, based their decision on a 100-page document which evaluated each city on 11 criteria then ranked them.

The report showed the frontrunner at this stage was Paris, followed closely by Madrid, with London and New York some distance behind in third and fourth place respectively and Moscow clinching the final place.

The strength of Madrid's performance - rated top in five of the 11 categories - confounded its position earlier this year as an also-ran. The inclusion of Moscow, previously considered too close to call, came with the warning that the Russian capital was the least prepared of the five to stage the Games and noted the "complex" task facing security forces.

The report warned that London needed to address shortcomings in transport, experience in hosting sports events and issues of public support. Ranking London fifth best in terms of transport, the report said the city's "extensive" rail and underground systems were "often obsolete" and considerable investment was needed to improve capacity and safety. The Olympic consultants said average travel distances outside the Olympic Park and surrounding area were among the longest of all applicant cities and doubted whether average bus speeds at 55km an hour were realistic.

The report noted the backing of London's bid by Tony Blair and Mayor Ken Livingstone but said its own polling had revealed 67 per cent public support compared to 82 per cent in a poll commissioned by the bid company. In a further broadside, the report's authors said London's international sports experience was "rather limited", with the exception of Wimbledon.

Among the strengths of the London bid were security arrangements, accommodation and plans for sports venues including a "very good" proposed Olympic village near Stratford which would host 16 sports.

Barbara Cassani, the bid chairman, said some of the criticisms were already being remedied because they were based on submissions made in January which critics say were more hurried than those of some rivals due to "government prevarication". The bid's chief executive, Keith Mills, said: "On balance we are happy with this. There are a lot of lessons to be learnt but this gives us a huge amount of confidence to go forward. We are pleased to be where we are."

Elimination of four cities ended in acrimony from Istanbul, which failed to make the cut for the fourth consecutive time, along with Havana, Leipzig and Rio de Janeiro. Istanbul's bid leader, Yalcin Aksoy, said the IOC had missed a chance to use his city's bid to build bridges between the Muslim world and the West. He said: "A unique opportunity offered to stage the Games for the first time in a country with a predominantly Muslim population dedicated to secular parliamentary democracy [has been] turned down."

Rio's to make the cut was considered a surprise as it was trying to become the first South American country to stage the Games. Its elimination prompted speculation it will be named by football's world governing body Fifa this week as the preferred host of the 2014 World Cup.

London 2012 held a party at the London Eye last night. A fireworks display from a boat on the Thames marked the unveiling of the bid's new logo. It incorporates the Olympic rings which each of the remaining cities can now use.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 40 years ...

Recruitment Genius: Weekend Factory Operatives

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer is curr...

Recruitment Genius: FP&A Analyst

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A market leading acquirer and m...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific