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Autumn Olympics: Doha launches bid to host 2020 Games later to avoid desert heat
DOHA, Qatar (AP) ' Doha will bid to host the 2020 Olympics in autumn.
The International Olympic Committee agreed to the Qatari city's request for a Sept. 20-Oct. 20 time frame to avoid the summer heat, when temperatures can exceed 104 degrees.
Qatari Olympic Committee President Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Friday he wanted to "personally thank" the IOC and its President Jacques Rogge for their help.
"To simply have a chance to enter the bidding process is a step closer to realizing something very special for our nation," he said.
Doha will compete with bids from Rome, Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul. The deadline for cities to express their interest is Sept. 1. The IOC will elect the 2020 host city on Sept. 7, 2013.
Dubai, South Africa and the United States have announced they will not enter a bid.
Qatar has already won the right to host the first soccer World Cup in the Middle East in 2022. The event will be held in June, and the desert country has proposed air-conditioned stadiums to beat the heat.
Doha also bid for the 2016 Olympics, but failed to make the short list. The games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
"We have listened and learned from our 2016 attempt to bid for the Games," said Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Secretary General of the QOC.
"We know that it is imperative that we guarantee ideal conditions for athletes, support staff, technicians and spectators, and ensure events are scheduled appropriately for all stakeholders and that is what we will do."
The Olympics are usually held in August. However, the event has been held later in the year. The 1964 Games in Tokyo and 1968 Mexico City Olympics took place in October, while the 1988 Seoul Games began Sept. 17.