Istanbul hopes to impress
IOC panel

After four unsuccessful attempts, Istanbul is ready to pitch its bid for the 2020 Olympics by stressing Turkey's robust economy, plans for modern venues and a two-continent backdrop.

The city of nearly 15 million, which straddles both Europe and Asia, is touting its unique geographical location to set it apart from rival bidders Tokyo and Madrid. The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) evaluation commission began arriving in Istanbul on Friday for a four-day tour to assess Istanbul's ability to host the games, its plans, finances and existing venues. The visit starts officially on Sunday.

The panel, headed by IOC vice president Craig Reedie, has already visited Tokyo and Madrid. The full IOC will select the 2020 host city at its general assembly in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7.

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