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Paris never led in Olympic voting

Results: London received boost after New York City eliminated

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(CNN) -- When the International Olympic Committee met in Singapore to decide which city would win the 2012 Olympics, the odds favored front-runner Paris.

But a look behind the scenes shows the French capital never led at any point in the voting that took place on Wednesday.

Indeed, the French capital came within two votes of being eliminated in the third round by Madrid, considered a long shot going in.

In what turned out to be a hotly contested race, support was split fairly evenly among Paris, London, Madrid, New York and Moscow at the start.

After the first ballot, only four votes separated first-place London, with 22 votes, from fourth-place New York, with 19.

Sandwiched between them was Paris, with 21, and Madrid, 20. Moscow lagged behind with 15 and was eliminated.

Outsider Madrid vaulted into first place in the second round with 32 votes after the Russian capital was voted out. London came in with 27, and Paris, 25.

New York's support sagged to just 16 votes, ending its Olympic quest.

London vaulted into the lead for good after apparently absorbing much of New York's support when the Big Apple went by the wayside in the third round.

London added 12 votes to shoot into the lead, with 39 votes. Paris added eight votes to rise to 33, while Madrid lost a vote and fell to 31, sending the Spaniards to the sidelines.

That set the stage for round four -- London vs. Paris, with the victory going to whichever city secured the most votes.

The Madrid vote split almost evenly, and the result was London 54, Paris 50, making the British capital the first city ever picked to host three Summer Olympics.

London has twice played host to the Olympics, in 1908 and 1948.

In the French capital, groans of disappointment swept through a crowd of thousands gathered at Paris Town Hall.

It was the third defeat for Paris in 20 years, with bids for the 1992 and 2008 Games also failing. The city last hosted the Olympics in 1924.

IOC records show Wednesday's vote was the closest for a Summer Olympics host city since 1993, when the Australian city of Sydney beat the Chinese capital of Beijing by two votes in the fourth round to win the 2000 games.

Eight years later, Beijing easily won the 2008 games, besting Toronto, Istanbul, Turkey, and -- yes -- Paris in the second round.

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