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2018 host PyeongChang on right track: IOC

LAUSANNE -- The International Olympic Committee on Thursday said that 2018 Winter Games host PyeongChang was on track in its preparations, but urged the South Korean city to give extra attention to sponsorship and venue construction.

As the massive delays to preparations for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazilian metropolis Rio de Janeiro caused frayed nerves at the IOC, the tone towards PyeongChang is markedly different.

In a statement released after a three-day site inspection in South Korea, the IOC was upbeat, lauding local organising committee POCOG for the “quality of their work.”

“We were able to see that a large amount has been accomplished by POCOG and its partners since our last visit in June 2013,” said Gunilla Lindberg, head of the IOC's coordination commission.

“The 2018 Games are on the right track but it is clear that much work remains. We are confident that POCOG and Korea will deliver great Games for the athletes in 2018,” she added.

Among the areas that need attention over the coming six months, the IOC cited marketing, venue construction, test events and Games services.

POCOG chief Kim Jin-sun said the hosts understood the task in hand.

“This year is a big turning point for us. We must establish a solid framework. As I always stress, we have no time to practice and no time for trial and error,” Kim said.

“We will streamline our master schedule and set our priorities straight so that everything runs smoothly according to the timeline,” he pledged.

The IOC picked PyeongChang as the host in 2011, favoring it over the German city of Munich, and French Alpine town Annecy.

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