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Beijing hands over 2022 Winter Games bid

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OLYMPICS-VILLAGE

LAUSANNE, Switzerland 6 – Beijing leaders on Tuesday handed over their official bid to stage the 2022 Winter Olympics to the IOC heightening their battle with Kazakhstan’s Almaty.

The event is guaranteed to be staged in Asia as Beijing and Almaty are the only candidates. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a final decision in July.

Liu Peng, chairman of the Chinese Olympic Committee, and Wang Anshun, chairman of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, presented the Chinese capital’s financial and construction guarantees for the event at the IOC headquarters.

-They made no immediate comment-

Almaty’s sporting and bid leaders were to give their official guarantees to IOC officials later Tuesday.

Although China would stage some of the skiing events up to 220 kilometers (140 miles) from Beijing, the Chinese bid is considered the favourite because of the country’s political clout within the Olympic movement.

Many of the officials who organised the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing have been drafted into the team fighting for the Winter Games.

Almaty has been seen from suffering from a lack of support from its strongman president Nursultan Nazarbayev. But the government now appears behind the project.

Almaty was also a candidate for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which went to Russia’s Sochi. It staged the 2011 Asian Winter Games and has been chosen for the 2017 University Winter Games.

The European cities of Oslo, Stockholm, Krakow in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine all backed out of the contest because of public fears over the cost.

An IOC evaluation committee will go to Almaty on February 14-18 and to Beijing from March 24-28. The two cities will make presentations to the IOC in Lausanne in June and the IOC executive committee will decide the winner at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on July 31.

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