The composition of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission for the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) has today been announced with IOC vice-president Uğur Erdener appointed by President Thomas Bach as its chair.
Erdener will lead an experienced team of Evaluation Commission members responsible for assisting and guiding the selection process to elect the African host for the event scheduled to be held in four years' time.
Among the seven members is Gambia’s Beatrice Allen, vice-president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation,
She is joined by IOC Executive Board members Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe and Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden, as well as Chile’s Neven Ilic, President of the Pan American Sports Organization.
Completing the list is China's Li Lingwei, Burundi’s Lydia Nsekera and Papua New Guinea’s Auvita Rapilla.
The IOC Evaluation Commission composition is said to reflect the diversity of the Olympic Movement, comprising members from all continents, representing athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations.
The Commission will act as a link between the interested parties, the IOC and Olympic Movement stakeholders.
It is hoped this will ensure that the best partner to co-construct the 2022 YOG is found.
Last week, Tunis in Tunisia and Abuja in Nigeria emerged as potential bidders to challenge Dakar in Senegal to host the event.
None of the three are yet considered official candidates, but the trio have already participated in working sessions and are considered interested parties in a dialogue stage.
IOC members voted in favour of a proposal to "proactively" seek an African host of the event at their Session in Pyeongchang in February.
Bach claimed afterwards that he hoped the event could pave the way towards a Olympic Games in Africa in either 2032 or 2036.
It was announced in Pyeongchang that an IOC delegation were already satisfied that Senegal met all "necessary criteria" after travelling to the country to tour expected venues and meet with Government officials.
"It’s time for Africa," Bach said when commenting on today’s announcement.
"Africa is the home of so very many successful Olympic athletes.
"It is also the continent of youth.
"This is why we want to take the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to Africa.
"This is why the IOC will proactively approach a number of African NOCs to evaluate the feasibility of bringing the YOG to Africa."
Erdener, President of World Archery and the Turkish Olympic Committee, has a wealth of experience in the YOG.
In 2016, he led the working group, instigated by Olympic Agenda 2020, which undertook a review of the YOG positioning to ensure that the event is constantly evolving and adapting to maximise the impact on young elite athletes.
He is currently chairing the Steering Committee on shaping the future of the YOG, responsible for implementing the 14 working group recommendations approved at the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The IOC Evaluation Commission can also rely on his experience as a former member of the Evaluation Commission for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"In choosing to target Africa, we are following the new principles adopted by the IOC Session to replace the competitive stage seen in previous Youth Olympic Games host city selections," Eredener said.
"It will make the process more streamlined, simpler and shorter.
"Africa has so much to offer the world and we are convinced that an African nation can now take the opportunity of the Youth Olympic Games to showcase this to the rest of the world."
The host selection process for the 2022 YOG was announced last month.
Following the feasibility studies, visits, in-depth discussions and research and analysis that will be undertaken by IOC administration members and experts with a number of African NOCs, the IOC Evaluation Commission 2022 intends to submit its report in September 2018.
The host for the fourth edition of the Summer YOG are due be elected at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October 2018.