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The question: 2012 Olympics

This week London unveiled its bid to host the 2012 Olympics. It faces tough opposition from Paris, Madrid, New York, Rio and Moscow. Who do you think will win?

Latin America would be most likely for the games in 2012. However bearing in mind the current political and economic situation, they have major handicaps to overcome. It seems highly unlikely that either Moscow or Leipzig could do it.

Istanbul must be ranked a complete outsider, and New York would probably not even get the sympathy vote!

Which brings us to the European capitals. Barcelona had the games recently which would seem to rule out Madrid. The great advantage Paris has is that it has the main infrastructure already in place. It also has a transport system which appears to work. The main disadvantage London has is that the basic infrastructure is not in place, probably not even planned and even when it is, government and London interference will change its specification and delay its implementation. On this basis, and taking account of the fact that the French can sell anything, the games will probably go to Paris.

Michael Grounsell, 55, chief engineer, London

Well, the French threw an early teaser into the ring promising beach volleyball in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower! But even with this enticement I think that there is a good chance that London will end up hosting the 2012 Olympics.

Many people will undoubtedly question the validity of spending approximately £2bn and whether the existing or indeed future infrastructure will be able to take the strain. But with a bit of luck ensuring that the success of the Sydney games can be replicated, the benefits should far outweigh the costs.

David Lavin, 30, Cardiff

London must win. Horseguards for volleyball, Lords for archery, not to mention Wembley and Wimbledon. . . such imagination deserves success. London would be an inspired choice. I just hope that, as civil engineers, we are not embarrassed by the paucity of the capital's infrastructure.

John Dadson, 53, television journalist, Cambridge

If the IOC considers Britain to have become less insular and to have achieved sufficient 'European credibility', it may just prefer us to Paris. Hosting this event requires sharp management to take advantage of every revenue stream. However, I have a large garden if a venue is still required for the beach volleyball.

Robin Thomson, structural engineer, Linlithgow

I think London stands a good chance - the organisers seem to have got themselves established with some good ideas and high profile sports people, and already have the government's backing - largely with the promise of redeveloping an area of East London. However, when an Olympic venue is being contested it is rarely on a level playing field and there could be some hidden incentives for selecting an alternative venue. One of the critical factors is the time zone with respect to American TV peak viewing times and in that respect either New York or Rio come out best.

Lance Fogg, 60, managing consultant, Blackpool

Unfortunately I doubt that London will win the bid, but I would love to be proved wrong. It is a shame that the concept of a national bid was not better received as this way a selection of cities across the UK would have been able to benefit from the regeneration that the Olympics would stimulate, rather than just the capital.

Charis Fowler, 31, senior engineer, Midlands

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