By Tom Degun

Nanjing 2014 2May 16 - Russia's Alexander Popov, the chairman International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for Nanjing 2014, has praised preparations for the next Youth Olympic Games following the conclusion of the fourth inspection visit of the Chinese city.

The Commission inspected all aspects of preparations for the second Summer Youth Olympics, which is due to take take place next year from August 16 to 28 for elite athletes aged between 15 and 18-years-old.

Popov, a four-time Olympic swimming champion, admitted he was particularly pleased to see proposals to use the upcoming 2013 Asian Youth Games in the city to test a number of functional areas and validate key milestones such as the event schedule and the operation plans.

"Nanjing 2014's vision for the second Summer Youth Olympic Games is now really taking shape," he said.

"The Coordination Commission congratulates it on its progress."

Since the last visit of the Commission in September 2012, important milestones that have been met include the submission and approval of the final Venue Master Plan, the successful launch of a new website and the successful launch of both the official mascot – NANJINGLELE.

"As we start climbing the hill toward the final countdown, the coming months will be crucial for YOG preparation," said Popov.

"They will present the Organising Committee with key opportunities to let the youth of the world know that the Youth Olympic Games spirit is coming to Nanjing and that all are welcome."

NANJINGLELEThe official mascot for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games NANJINGLELE was unveiled at the end of last year

Moving forward, the Commission encouraged Nanjing 2014 to build on the steps it has already taken in working together across the different functional areas to ensure a joined-up approach to hosting the Games.

This includes a committed effort to the final detailing and delivery of a successful culture and education programme that will engage, educate and inspire the young athletes off the field of play.

The Commission also recommended that, as a top priority, Nanjing should now share with all stakeholders, including National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Federations, the public and the media that it will be ready to host memorable Games next year.

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