By Nick Butler at the Centara Convention Centre in Bangkok

Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun will lead a strong Beijing 2022 delegation to Bangkok ©Getty ImagesDelegations from Almaty and Beijing have arrived here for what is set to be a key staging post in their respective bids for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympics.

Although six cities originally launched bids for 2022, after the withdrawal of Stockholm, Kraków, Lviv and Oslo earlier this year, only the two Asian contenders are left.

Both will present to the Association of National Committees ANOC) General Assembly here tomorrow.

Beijing, the Chinese capital that hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, was initially seen as an outsider but is now considered the heavy favourite, with their Bid Committee hailing his week's event as their "international debut".

Spokesperson Wang Hui claimed they will "show the world" their "resolution and capabilities to host a successful Winter Olympic Games", with their delegation to be led by Beijing Mayor and Bid chief Wang Anshun,

For Almaty meanwhile, the campaign trail has been far lower key and, given the determination to keep the contest open, there will be much concern among Olympic officials if it does not pick up soon.

Their delegation will include the head of the Kazakhstan Agency for Sports and Physical Education, Tastanbek Yessantayev, with an illustration of their financial and Government support a key challenge, along with the addressing of technical issues flagged up by the International Olympic Committee in their Working Group report earlier this year.

Almaty Mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov is not due to attend.

IOC President Thomas Bach visited Almaty last month, meeting with Mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov. But the Kazakh bid has remained very low key since ©IOCIOC President Thomas Bach visited Almaty last month, meeting with Mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov. But the Kazakh bid has remained very low key since ©IOC

Beijing are the only one of the two to have so far confirmed official media event here, a key way to bring attention to the bid now the IOC have lifted a moratorium on the bidders doing international PR.
                                                                                                                                                        They have also revealed key appointments to help orchestrate their campaign, unlike Almaty. 

As well as eight major Chinese sponsors unveiled in August, they also recently appointed American communication and public relations giants Weber Shandwick in a bid to boost their international coverage.

The company has vast experience in the Olympic Movement, enjoying recent bidding success when working for Sochi 2014 and Tokyo 2020.

But Beijing's bid is not without some challenges, in relation to air pollution concerns within the capital city, as well as a possible lack of snow in the city of Zhangjiakou in which mountain events will be held. 

The 200 kilometre distance between Beijing and Zhangjiakou is also considered a problem, although a high speed rail line, reducing the journey between the two from four hours to 50 minutes, is being developed as a major infrastructural project associated with the Games.

Whatever happens, the 2022 race will end in another Games in Asia, meaning that three successive Olympics will be held on the world's largest continent, following Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020.

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