The Australian city of Brisbane moved closer to landing the 2032 Olympics on Thursday after winning the approval of the International Olympic Committee's executive board and the choice will be put to a final vote next month.
Queensland state capital Brisbane had been the preferred host, chosen in February, and the board's proposal now goes to the IOC session before the Tokyo Olympics next month.
"It is in the hands of IOC members to vote now on July 21," IOC President Thomas Bach said.
If Brisbane is elected, as expected, it would become the third Australian city after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000 to host the summer Olympics.
"The Brisbane 2032 Olympic project shows how forward-thinking leaders recognise the power of sport as a way to achieve lasting legacies for their communities," Bach added.
Several cities and countries had publicly expressed an interest in staging the 2032 Games including Indonesia, Budapest, China, Doha and Germany’s Ruhr valley.
But in a new process that does not openly pit cities against each other, Brisbane had already moved ahead of any rivals in February, having won praise from the IOC.
It earned bonus points for its high percentage of existing venues, support from all levels of government and the private sector, experience in organising major events and its favourable weather, among other things.
The state of Queensland hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
A commitment in April from the Australian government to split the infrastructure costs 50-50 with local government allowed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to forward the necessary financial guarantees to the IOC.
"The (IOC) members have all the necessary documentation and the recommendation of the board and future host commission," Bach said.
"(In July) it is about voting. Let's see then. The vote in the commission and in the board was very clear."
The IOC overhauled its bidding rules in 2019 to reduce costs and make the process easier for cities. There are no official candidate cities campaigning ahead of the vote as has been the case in the past.
Instead, the IOC puts the preferred host to a vote at its session.
Tokyo will host the postponed 2020 Olympics this year and Paris will stage the 2024 Games. Los Angeles has been awarded the 2028 summer Olympics.
IOC's Bach scraps plans for quick visit, will be in Tokyo in mid-July
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will arrive in Tokyo in the middle of July ahead of the Olympic Games and will not visit before, he said on Thursday.
Bach had wanted to travel to Tokyo in recent months to monitor preparations ahead of the postponed Olympics but those plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said he would arrive prior to the July 23 start of the Games, postponed last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"This has been discussed with Tokyo 2020 whether it would really make sense to go back and forth," Bach told a virtual news conference.
"Going to Tokyo, having to respect the quarantine, to be there for a couple of hours and then after two weeks going again having to respect quarantine," he said.
"We came to the conclusion that it would be better I arrive mid July in Tokyo, in time for the Games and all the preceding meetings and visits and organisation issues."
The IOC holds a series of meetings, including a session, prior to the start of the Olympic Games.
Japan has been spared the widespread infections seen elsewhere, but has recorded more than 760,000 cases and more than 13,600 deaths. Tokyo and some other regions are under a state of emergency set to be lifted on June 20.
About 11% of Japanese have had at least one vaccine dose - low compared with other rich nations.
To try and reassure the public, Tokyo 2020 organisers have banned foreign visitors and said visiting athletes and media crews will be monitored via GPS for the first 14 days of their stay to ensure they do not stray from itineraries.