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  • Sixth Candidate Ready to Announce Youth Olympic Games Bid


    The Great Church in Debrecen, one of the landmarks of the city in eastern Hungary.  
    (ATR) Sources tell Around the Rings that an eastern European city is ready to declare itself as a candidate for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

    Debrecen, the second-biggest city in Hungary, is expected to announce its candidacy early this week, Around the Rings is told.

    Located about 220km east of Budapest, Debrecen’s candidacy was apparently approved last week by the leadership of the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

    A city with a population of 250,000, Debrecen has a sports resume that includes hosting of the IAAF 2006 Road Racing World Championships, the 2005 European Gymnastics Championships as well as other events.

    Speaking Sunday in Osaka where he is attending the IAAF Athletics World Championships, IOC President Jacques Rogge said he had not heard yet about the Hungarian bid.

    “That’s good news,” was his reaction to the development. He says with short notice that bidding was open for the YOG, to have so many candidates is “very encouraging”.

    The IOC only approved the Youth Olympic Games in early July, sending out a request for candidates later in the month. The deadline to apply
    The IAAF Road Racing World Championships were held in Debrecen in 2006. (Getty)  
    is September 7.

    Just two days ago, Rogge announced that he was aware of five candidacies for the inaugural games: Algiers, Athens, Moscow, Singapore and Turin. And he said that two other cities “were in the pipeline”. Those two are believed to be from Mexico and Guatemala.

    He maintains that mid-sized cities such as Debrecen are a good fit for the YOG concept.

    Debrecen hosted European handball championships in 2004. (Getty)  
    mid-sized city, a mid-sized country, would be easy to put forward a candidature, because the budget is not too high because the infrastructure requirements are very light.

    “The main stadium should only have 10,000 seats. All the other venues for all the 28 sports range from 1,000 to 2,000 maximum 5,000 for football.

    “We’ve even advised the cities not to use a mega-stadium with very little crowds, use smaller sizes so the capacity will be full,” said the IOC President.

    Once applications close, a panel of technical experts will review the bids and report to the IOC Executive Board on the merits of each city. The EB could cut the list to a smaller group of finalists which could be visited by an Evaluation Commission at the end of the year.

    The IOC is supposed to vote by post on a candidate in January, with the winner to be announced in February.

    The 2010 YOG are supposed to take place in August, with 3200 athletes in each of the sports for the Summer Games. A winter edition of the games is being planned for 2012. The games are aimed at competitors from 14 to 18 years old.

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