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Tokyo fears Obama boost to Chicago Olympic bid

Nov. 05, 2008, 6:48 a.m. (ET)

TOKYO(AP) Japanese Olympic officials fear the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president could propel his home city of Chicago to favoritism to host the 2016 Olympic Games and harm Tokyo's bid.

Tokyo, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo are the four cities in the running to host the 2016 games.

“I wonder how IOC members will react when Mr. Obama appears in a presentation for Chicago,” Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda was quoted to say by Japanese media Wednesday.

The IOC will name the 2016 host at its general assembly in October next year.

“Mr. Obama is popular and good at speeches, so things could get tough for Japan,” said senior JOC board member Tomiaki Fukuda.