Olympics-Bach backs Australia bid for 2028 Olympics

By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY, April 29 (Reuters) - A bid from Australia to host the Summer Olympics for the third time in 2028 would have a good chance of winning what he hoped would be a hotly-contested bidding process, Olympic chief Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) earlier this month offered its backing to a prospective bid for the 2028 Olympics by a group of mayors from southeast Queensland, centred on the city of Brisbane.

Bach said he had met Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier on Wednesday and discussed a future Games in Australia to follow the success of the Melbourne Games in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

"A bid from Australia would enjoy a lot of sympathy and would have a very good chance of winning," the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) told a news conference in Sydney.

"This is for 2028, so it's a little bit premature to talk already. I also told the Prime Minister, I would do whatever I can (to make sure) Australia would not be alone in this race. They would enjoy a great competition.

"Because this is what Australians usually love, a great competition and then to win, maybe."

The German said Australia's great contribution to the Olympic movement through sports administrators and the country's famous love of sport would make a bid attractive and added that it would not be too soon for a return to the country.

"It would be 28 years after the Sydney Games, this is not too soon to come back to Australia and Oceania," he said.

"The Games are rotating around the world but there is no established rotation by the years.

"It would be wise for the Australians to be candidates for the Olympic Games while there are people who are still alive to remember the great success of the Sydney Games."

Only Greece, Britain and the United States have hosted the Summer Games more than twice.

The Olympics will be held in Brazil for the first time next year, while Tokyo will host the Summer Games for the second time in 2020.

Queensland will host the Commonwealth Games for the second time when the seaside resort city of Gold Coast welcomes the multi-sports Games for mainly former British colonies in 2018. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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