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Brisbane set to celebrate 2032 Games coronation

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A view of the city of Brisbane, expected to be announced as host for the 2032 Olympic Games, in Brisbane, Australia, July 4, 2021. Picture taken July 4, 2021. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

TOKYO/MELBOURNE, July 21 (Reuters) - Australia waited in anticipation on Wednesday ahead of an International Olympic Committee vote in Tokyo expected to confirm preferred bidder Brisbane as host of the 2032 Summer Games.

Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Australian delegation will provide a final presentation to IOC members in Tokyo before the vote at around 5:10 p.m. (0810 GMT)

Rather than running against rival candidates, Queensland's state capital Brisbane needs only ratification at Wednesday's IOC session to win the Games.

The IOC overhauled its bidding rules in 2019 to reduce costs and make the process easier for cities after seeing a number of would-be hosts drop out in preceding years.

The reforms have played into Brisbane's hands, with the city named preferred bidder by an IOC commission in February and endorsed by the powerful IOC Executive Board last month.

Though Brisbane is considered a shoe-in, IOC members could yet decline to ratify its bid which would put it back into a race with other countries and cities that have expressed interest, including Budapest, Doha and Germany's Ruhr valley.

Australia's bid delegation arrived in Tokyo on Monday and said they were taking nothing for granted.

"We are here to work, we're here to get the job done and we're here to bring it home," Brisbane city mayor Adrian Schrinner told reporters at the airport. read more

The confidence is patent in Brisbane and other Australian cities where authorities have set up "live sites" for residents to watch the IOC's announcement on big screens.

Strict lockdowns in three of Australia's six states due to COVID-19 outbreaks may dampen the party vibe but Queensland remains open to celebrate and Brisbane locals will gather on the South Bank of the Brisbane River for the big moment.

Queensland's Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games and if the state lands the 2032 Olympics Australia will become only the second country after the United States to host Summer Games in three different cities.

Melbourne held the Games in 1956 and Sydney hosted them in 2000.

Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Michael Perry

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