By Tom Degun

Claudia Bokel_26-09-12September 26 - Germany's Claudia Bokel, the new chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission, is set to lead the Working Group that will access the six cities bidding to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

The race to host the third Summer Youth Olympics sees Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Guadalajara, Medellín, Poznań and Rotterdam all involved in what is the most competitive bid process in the history of the event.

The Working Group, which was announced by IOC President Jacques Rogge, will see the 39-year-old Bokel, a former épée fencer who won a silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympics, lead a team of five in analysing the six bids.

The team also includes Belgian National Olympic Committee secretary general Guido De Bondt; Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) director Andrew Ryan of Britain; IOC Athletes' Commission member Yumilka Ruíz Luaces of Cuba and Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli of Switzerland.

The five-member team will be assisted by four senior IOC representatives in the form of sports director Christophe Dubi, head of creative services Patrick Stalder, National Olympic Committee relations programme manager Antoine Goetschy and head of Youth Olympic Games coordination Toshio Tsurunaga.

"We are delighted with the high level of interest shown in hosting the third Summer Youth Olympics in 2018," said Rogge, who is credited for coming up with the idea of a Youth Games.

"It is a shining endorsement of just how successful the inaugural Summer [Singapore 2010] and Winter [Innsbruck 2012] editions were and reflects how the popularity, excitement and awareness surrounding the Youth Olympic Games continue to build at an impressive pace."

singapore 2010_opening_ceremony_26-09-12The success of Singapore 2010 (Opening Ceremony pictured) and Innsbruck 2012 has sparked a high level of interest in hosting the third Summer Youth Olympics in 2018

Together, the Working Group will analyse each city's candidature file, which must be sent to the IOC by the October 15 deadline.

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.

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