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Friday, September 14, 2018, 18:16
Sapporo expected to drop out of 2026 Winter Olympic bid race
By Associated Press
Friday, September 14, 2018, 18:16 By Associated Press

TOKYO — The Japanese city of Sapporo is expected to withdraw from bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics, leaving four candidates as the IOC finds it increasingly difficult to find hosts — particularly for the Winter Games.

A city official said Deputy Mayor Takatohsi Machida and Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda will meet International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Monday.

READ MORE: Japanese officials remain vague about Winter Olympic bid

City spokesman Akihiro Okumura says the two will brief Bach about an earthquake a week ago in the northern region that killed about 40 people.

He said "we haven't officially announced other items to be discussed with the IOC, however, I understand various matters might come up."

The withdrawal — widely reported in Japan — isn't a shock. City officials said four months ago that the city was better prepared to bid for the 2030 Games.

ALSO READ: Sapporo seems to have second thoughts about Olympic bid

The IOC will name the winning bidder a year from now. The four contenders are: Stockholm, Sweden; Calgary, Canada; a joint Italian bid from Turin, Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo; and Erzurum, Turkey.

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