Olympics bid cities display passion, coolness and pugnacity
Young athletes take part in Istanbul's presentation at the IOC meeting in Buenos Aires on September 5, 2013. Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid - the three cities bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games - presented vastly different faces on Friday as they wrapped up their campaigns on the eve of the vote in Buenos Aires.
Istanbul stayed true to their nature and delivered a passionate message, while Madrid, displayed a professional attitude commensurate with their image now of many observers' idea of the winners.
Tokyo were pugnacious, their governor Naoki Inose delivering a stinging rebuke to some of the media for their reporting of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis.
It was the type of firm response that was required earlier in the week when their opening press conference was dominated by questions over the leaks of contaminated water from the plant.
The three of them still have their final presentations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members to come on Saturday prior to the vote -- for which members from the countries of the cities cannot do so until they are out of the race.
While safety questions have dogged Tokyo's bid, Madrid has faced fears about Spain's recession-hit economy and Istanbul has been in the spotlight after a crackdown on anti-government protesters earlier this year and the bloody conflict in Turkey's neighbour Syria.
Istanbul's bid president Hasan Arat meanwhile fronted up, as he has done throughout the dynamic and emotional campaign by the Turkish city and by far the best of the five bids they have put together, and refused to accept the idea they would finish third.
"It will be the most important day in the history of the Republic of Turkey," said the former professional basketball player, who is now a successful businessman.
"When you see our presentation you will understand what is happening."
Arat, who has placed great emphasis on the youthful population of Turkey including 50 of them in the presentation delegation as he says 'On Turkey's biggest day we are turning to the future', said Saturday would be an historic day.
Istanbul are bidding to become the first predominantly Muslim country to host the Games which Arat says if successful would be a turning point not only for the country but for the region as well.
"We are optimistic that the IOC will choose to make history with Istanbul 2020," said Arat.
Madrid's public appearances have lacked the passion of Istanbul's but they have been to the point and Friday's was again the case as they eye going one better than for the 2016 Games and two better than for the 2012 edition.
They stuck to their themes which have played so well since June of having a relatively small but realistic budget -- all the infrastructure and 28 of the 35 venues are built thanks to promises honoured in the previous bids -- and a Games suited to the financially troubled times.
"We are optimistic, we are realistic, we know the big potential of the other bids," said Madrid bid chief Alejandro Blanco.
"Ojala (hopefully), this long path leads us to victory."
Tokyo Governor Inose's soft voice does not lend itself to realising that he is riled but his comments were clear and to the point as he said the true facts of the state of Fukushima and the action being taken had not been reported.
"So much rumour has been conveyed by the media. When it was discussed by the Cabinet on September 3 on what to do the paper was published in both Japanese and English.
"First of all you should read the statement and then ask questions," said the 66-year-old.
"Fact and basis should be reported. We will provide all the data and that will be fair."
A more seductive tone was lent to the proceedings by Japan's eloquent 27-year-old double fencing Olympic silver medallist Yuki Ota.
He outlined what his goal was after visiting the areas devastated by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in north eastern Japan which left over 18,000 people dead.
"Winning the Games will restore the smiles on the faces of the children."