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Nanjing 'to be a thrifty 2014 host

Date: 2012-09-03

NANJING - Chinese officials have promised there will be no extravagant, Beijing-like splurging of finances when Nanjing hosts the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, according to local media reports.

The city in eastern China is set to follow the frugal lead of the London 2012 Olympics, emulating London's use of temporary buildings, Nanjing Party chief and Games organising committee President Yang Weize told the China Daily recently.

"No new venues will be built if old ones can be renovated," said Mr Yang, who is facing criticism from residents that costs are spiralling.

"No new facilities will be purchased if old ones can be repaired, no equipment will be bought if (it) can be rented and they won't be rented if they can be borrowed."

Beijing claimed to have spent around US$15 billion (S$18.7 billion) on its spectacular 2008 Olympics, roughly the same as London's budget and that of Athens in 2004.

Some reports estimated, however, that the total cost of the Beijing Games was in excess of US$40 billion.

In stark contrast, Nanjing officials said they were accepting donated machinery from Singapore, which hosted the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010.

"Singapore has given its ticket-checking machines to Nanjing," said Mr Liu Yi'an, the Deputy Secretary-General of the committee. "We may also give our facilities to other host cities of major sporting events for reuse."

Nanjing has set a Games-related budget of US$315 million, according to the China Daily.

"Nanjing will spend no more than Singapore," insisted the city's Public Relations Director Ding Ming. REUTERS