London closes gap on Paris in Olympic race

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The Independent Online

London's bid to stage the 2012 Olympic games is set to receive a huge boost tomorrow with the publication of a report from the International Olympic Committee.

London's bid to stage the 2012 Olympic games is set to receive a huge boost tomorrow with the publication of a report from the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC's Evaluation Commission visited London in February to inspect venues, accommodation and transport. Its verdict will put the capital neck and neck with the front-runner, Paris, as the cities turn into the final straight of the race to hold the world's most prestigious sporting event.

Although the contents of the report are a closely guarded secret, The Independent on Sunday understands that both Paris and London will be given "brilliant" reports by the committee, which cannot endorse any of the five candidate cities. This will leave London and Paris to battle it out before the IOC members make their choice in Singapore next month. New York, Moscow and Madrid, already outsiders, will be out of the race.

The report will seal a remarkable comeback by London, which was heavily criticised by the IOC just 12 months ago for its poor transport system and low public support for the games.

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