March 01, 2016

MOSCOW (AP) The International Olympic Committee task force monitoring Beijing's preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics is to pay its first visit to the Chinese capital this month.

Alexander Zhukov, who heads the IOC's coordination commission for the 2022 Games, told Russia's state Tass agency the visit will take place by the end of March and that Beijing will ''undoubtedly organize very good Olympics'' drawing on its experience holding the 2008 Games.

Zhukov, the Russian Olympic Committee president, was also head of another IOC commission that assessed Beijing and the Kazakh city of Almaty during the bidding process.

Beijing was picked by the IOC in July, beating Almaty by four votes in a surprisingly close contest.

Beijing had been considered the overwhelming favorite but was criticized for a lack of natural snow.

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