By Tom Degun in Singapore

August 27 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has admitted that the inaugural Youth Summer Olympic Games, which closed here last night, exceeded his highest expectations of them.

The culture and education programme for the young athletes has received widespread plaudits while the innovative new 3-on-3 basketball concept introduced at the Games have been a roaring success as have the mixed male and female relay events.

Rogge said: "These Games have exceeded my highest expectations.

"I knew it would be a good organisation from our Singaporean friends but they have exceeded their level of perfection.

"This was a huge success, more than we expected, and every four years the Youth Olympic Games will go to another city and they will improve the quality of the event.

"I am very optimistic about the future.

"There were 5,000 videos downloaded on YouTube and four million people joining the Friends of the Singapore Youth Olympics Facebook page.

"But we will endeavour to help publicise this event and make it even bigger.

This is only the very first event."

Rogge revealed that, following the success of the culture and education programme in Singapore, the IOC are looking to introduce the concept into the traditional Olympics as early as the Rio 2016 Games. 

"We are most definitely considering introducing a limited culture and education programme into the traditional Olympic Games.

"There is definitely a place for it.

"It’s too late for London [in 2012] but perhaps in Rio.

"We have to see how we can adapt it for the different age category."

The male and female mixed team events, which in Singapore included the triathlon and swimming relay races, are also set for consideration at the full Olympics after Rogge gave them his full approval.

Rogge said: “We will look at expanding these events in the future.

"I am a fan of mixed events and we are considering adding them to the summer Olympic line up."

Meanwhile, the organisers of the next Youth Olympics in Nanjing in 2014 have promised a "thrifty and highly efficient" event, although they have refused to be drawn on the exact budget, which is rumoured to be as high as $700 million (£450 million).

Nanjing already aims to deploy a volunteer force of 30,000 people, 6,000 of them language assistants.

The volunteer force here numbered 20,000.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected] 

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