IT'S official - three down, one to go. Singapore will be going head to head with Moscow to win the right to host the 2010 Youth Olympics.
This was announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday when it unveiled its final shortlist following months of preparations and presentations by the bidding cities.
Singapore beat three other candidate cities - Athens, Bangkok, and Turin - to reach the top two, proving to be one lean mean bidding machine when it comes to chasing the Youth Olympic dream.
About 300 students from the Singapore Sports School, representatives from the National Sports Associations (NSA) and 120 corporate executives gathered at Amis at Sentosa to hear the good news.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports said, 'We are glad that the IOC has recognised the high quality of Singapore's bid.'
'We offer the IOC the opportunity to create a new legacy, by showing how a small city-state can also be part of the exciting Olympic movement,' he said.
Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary (MCYS) also added: 'The bid committee is extremely encouraged by the enthusiastic and resounding support of all segments of our society, particularly our youth and the more than 200 local and multi-national corporations who have pledged their commitment to welcome the 5,000 athletes and officials to Singapore.'
Last November, an IOC panel of experts had given Moscow high marks of 7.5 to 8.4 - based on a scoring system of a minimum and maximum grade.
Singapore was close behind, earning a score of 7.4 to 7.9.
According to the report, Singapore scored well in all but one category - the feasibility of its proposed Games Village at the National University of Singapore's University Town @ Warren.
The report voiced concerns that the project may not be completed in time for the Games which kick off in two and a half years.
But those fears were apparently allayed when an IOC official dropped by for a visit last December.
Plans for a back-up Village - which will be set using existing facilities at Nanyang Technological University- was shared with the official.
The Games will feature about 3,500 athletes aged between 14 and 18, competing in 26 sports.
Following the IOC's announcement, IOC members will be asked to vote by postal ballot to pick the Host City.
The results will be announced before the end of February.