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Birmingham chosen to host 2022 Commonwealth Games
The British city of Birmingham was on Thursday confirmed as the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The event was originally awarded to Durban in 2015 but the South African city lost the hosting rights due to financial problems.
The Games, which take place every four years, involve sportsmen and women from countries that were once part of the British empire. Next year's event will be staged on Australia's Gold Coast.
"We warmly congratulate Birmingham and England on the announcement. It is a defining moment for this truly Commonwealth city," Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin told a press conference at Birmingham's Arena Academy.
The CGF is believed to have encouraged rival bids from Canada and Malaysia, both of which failed to materialise.
But Martin thanked the two countries and Australia for their interest in hosting future Games and said all three countries had expressed interest in staging either the 2026 or 2030 event.
The budget for the 2022 Games, which is expected to run from 27 July to 7 August, is reported to be 845 million euros.
The existing Alexander Stadium will be re-developed and will host the athletics events.
"The vast majority of the Games venues are in place and with extensive experience in the UK of hosting successful major events, the CGF looks forward to a truly spectacular Games that delivers not only for the 2.4 billion citizens across the Commonwealth, but the wider world, too," Martin added.
Culture secretary, Karen Bradley, said: "Birmingham will put on a brilliant Games that will showcase the best of Britain to the world and make the entire country proud."
Sports minister, Tracey Crouch, added: "The UK has a brilliant track record for putting on the biggest sport events in the world and it is great news that Birmingham has been selected to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games."
The first British Empire Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada. Eleven countries sent 400 athletes to take part in six sports and 59 events.
In 1954, the name was changed to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games. That incarnation lasted until 1966. Between 1970 and 1974, it was called the British Commonwealth Games before the current title was adopted for the 1978 Games in Edmonton.
In 2018, athletes from 70 nations will be in Australia taking part in 23 sports including swimming, table tennis, squash, cycling and rugby.