Rome gaining confidence for 2020 Olympics bid

Rome is confident about its bid for the 2020 Summer Games following Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci's recent meeting with IOC president Jacques Rogge.

Petrucci spoke with Rogge during International Olympic Committee meetings in Switzerland last week and said Rogge was enthusiastic about Rome's intentions.

"We're moving forward with our candidacy and we're very confident," Petrucci told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a World Cup ski race on Sunday.

Rome, which hosted the 1960 Games, is the only city so far to have been nominated by its national Olympic committee to bid for 2020.

The South African city of Durban also is expected to enter the race in a bid to bring the games to Africa for the first time, while other potential bidders include Tokyo; Madrid; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Rome lost to Athens in a close vote to host the 2004 Games.

"We really believe this time, while at the same time realizing it's difficult," Petrucci said.

The Italian said he was sure that Tokyo will bid, although the Japanese city's efforts could be weakened if Pyeongchang, South Korea, is awarded the 2018 Winter Games in an IOC vote in July.

The IOC would be reluctant to award consecutive games to Asia.

"Each candidate has advantages and disadvantages," Petrucci said.

The CONI president also confirmed that 100- and 200-meter world record holder Usain Bolt will run at the Golden Gala in Rome on May 26.

"That was a really big score that the athletics federation made," Petrucci said, adding that he doesn't know yet whether Bolt will run the 100 or 200. "That's up to him, we're just happy he's coming."

CONI and the Italian athletics federation are scheduled to present Bolt's participation in a news conference Friday.