October 10 - Poznań, one of the favourites to host the 2018 Youth Olympics, has pulled out of the race to stage the Games due to a lack of financial guarantees.
The Polish city was bidding for the competition for the second time in succession, having narrowly lost out to Nanjing for the 2014 edition of the event by five votes.
But it has stunningly withdrawn from the race, with the City Council failing to provide the financial guarantees of around $25 million (£16 million/€20 million) to organise the Youth Olympic Games, with 27 councillors voting against allocating the budget with only four in favour.
The move comes largely because of Poznań's spiralling debt problems.
"It is a great shame that the City Council did not agree to the funding guarantees for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games," said the Mayor of Poznań Ryszard Grobelny.
"I'm convinced that the city of Poznań would have been a great host for the event and could have organised a great Games.
"We deeply regret that this event will not take place in our city in 2018."
The move is even more of a surprise as Poznań impressed as one of the host cities in the 2012 UEFA European Championship when Poland and Ukraine jointly hosted the event this year.
The withdrawal comes just days before the candidates for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games are due to hand in their bid books to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its headquarters in Lausanne on Monday (October 15).
But despite the shock withdrawal of Poznań, the bid race remains the most competitive in the short history of the Youth Olympic Games with Buenos Aires, Medellín, Glasgow, Guadalajara and Rotterdam all still involved.
Following the handing in of the bid books next week, the applicants will be accessed by an IOC Working Group led by Germany's Claudia Bokel.
The Working Group will then submit a report to the IOC Executive Board, which Bokel also sits on, who will identify which of 2018 Youth Olympic Games bidders should be shortlisted from Applicant City to Candidate City.
The shortlist will be announced by the IOC Executive Board following its meeting in Lausanne on February 12 and 13 next year.
Following further assessment and video conferences with each shortlisted Candidate City, another report will be submitted to the IOC members in May 2013.
It will then be left to the IOC members to elect the host city at their meeting in Lausanne on July 4, 2013.
The 2018 Youth Olympics will be the third edition of the summer event following the inaugural competition in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing 2014.
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