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Budapest withdraws bid to host 2024 Olympics, leaving Paris and Los Angeles

The Hungarian capital Budapest has withdrawn its bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics. The eastern European city withdraws after local opposition to the bid, clearing the way for Paris and Los Angeles.

Hungary will withdraw its bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on Wednesday, after a meeting between Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos and the Hungarian Olympic committee.

Bidding alongside Los Angeles and Paris, Budapest had been considered an outside candidate, pinning its hopes on the International Olympic Committee's Agenda 2020 initiative.

After local opponents of the candidacy last week submitted a quarter of a million signatures on a petition for a referendum on the bid, Tarlos had suggested the city might quit the race.

According to Associated Press, the International Olympic Committee has stoked talk of handing Paris and LA the 2024 and 2028 Games between them in September, when the 2024 vote is due to take place in the Peruvian capital Lima. The last time only two cities were left in the bidding was in 1988, when Seoul beat Nagoya, Japan, after an IOC vote.

Budapest follows Hamburg and Rome in quitting the race.

mds/sb (Reuters/AP)