ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Chicago was among four cities picked as finalists Wednesday for the 2016 Summer Olympics, setting the stage for a high-profile bidding contest between candidates from the United States, Europe and Asia.

Also making the IOC shortlist were Madrid, Spain; Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Eliminated from the race were Doha, Qatar; Prague, Czech Republic, and Baku, Azerbaijan.

The final field was selected by the International Olympic Committee executive board.

The big four — Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio — all virtually were assured of advancing to the final stage. The main issue had been whether Doha also would make the cut.

"It's a very competitive field," Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said. "The competition begins now."