20:11 GMT +325 September 2018
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    Sports stars gather in Singapore ahead of 2012 Olympic vote

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    SINGAPORE, July 5 (RIA Novosti sports commentator Mikhail Smirnov) - Sports superstars from around the globe are arriving in Singapore, where the IOC is set to choose a host for the 2012 Olympics Wednesday. Five cities - London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris - are bidding for the Olympic, and all are sending some of their top sportsmen and women in a last-minute bid to gain potentially crucial votes.

    David and Victoria Beckham arrived in Singapore yesterday to support London's bid, while Beckham's Real Madrid teammate Raul and tennis star Arantxa Sanches Vicario came to back the Spanish capital. Muhammad Ali is lobbying for New York, while another Real star, Zinedine Zidane, and judo champion David Douillet are pushing for Paris. Many politicians, heads of state and government and members of royal families also joined the final stage of lobbying.

    Beckham told his teammate Raul that he saw no alternative to London. The latter said that, if Madrid won, he would remind Beckham that he had lived in the Spanish capital for a long time and greatly enjoyed it.

    Olympic champions Irina Rodnina (figure-skating), Alexei Nemov (gymnastics) and Yevgeny Kafelnikov (tennis) and famous sculptor Zurab Tsereteli came to Singapore to support Moscow. Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov is also expected to fly in.

    The International Olympic Committee will pick the venue for the 2012 Olympics on Wednesday.

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