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Other Sports - 26. January 2008.

Super League Emerges in Around the Rings'

(ATR) The results of the first Around the Rings Bid Power Index for the 2016 Summer Olympics indicate that a "Super League" of four cities likely will define the race.

Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo earned the highest rankings in the Power Index. Only five points separate the cities. Baku, Azerbaijan, Doha, Qatar, and Prague, Czech Republic, round out the field of candidates.

"Our first look at the race for 2016 reveals that there are four cities that could be called a 'Super League'," ATR Editor Ed Hula says. "These bids have the strongest foundations, the most experience in sport."

The Power Index rates the 2016 cities in 11 categories ranging from accommodations to venues. Some are subjective, some are based on hard numbers provided by the bid cities or gathered by ATR. The index is the only expert ranking of Olympics bids produced outside the IOC. So far, ATR experts have visited all 2016 cities with the exception of Baku, Azerbaijan.

The final 2007 ATR Power Index for the 2014 Winter Games, released just 10 days prior to the IOC vote, resulted in the first-ever tie. PyeongChang, Korea, and Sochi, Russia each scored 83 points. Sochi narrowly won.

"Given the strengths of the 2016 field, I imagine we could have a knotted-up race by the time the 2016 vote is taken in 20 months, also with no clear leader," Hula says.

The ranking is not meant to predict the winner of the 2016 Games, but to compare some of the major points that go into a successful Olympic Games.

The results of the initial ATR Olympic Bid Power Index for the 2016 Olympics, followed by category by category explanations, will be published January 23, 2008, at www.aroundtherings.com.

The coming months will bring additional analysis and updating across the categories in which the cities are evaluated. Developments, details and visits from ATR staff could produce changes in their rankings.

Come June, the list of candidates will narrow, as the IOC will choose the finalists in the race for 2016.

Ed Hula is available for interviews. Contact Sheila S. Hula, via email [email protected], or call ++ 1 404.874.1603, ext. 12.

For a two-week trial subscription of Around the Rings, contact Laura Grundy, [email protected] or call ++ 1 404.874.1603, ext. 17.

Your best source of news about the Olympic Movement is www.AroundTheRings.com,

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