International Olympic Committee inspectors have wrapped up their visit to Almaty to assess the Kazakh city's bid for the 2022 Winter Games.
Almaty is competing against Beijing in a race that was reduced to two candidates after the withdrawal of four bidders because of financial and political concerns.
The 14-member IOC evaluation commission, chaired by Russian member Alexander Zhukov, spent 4? days visiting Almaty's proposed venues and meeting with bid and government leaders.
Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Zhukov says Almaty "has spectacular mountains, some very impressive venues and a real passion for winter sports."
He adds that "our visit has confirmed that Almaty is capable of holding successful games in 2022."
The IOC panel will visit Beijing from March 24-28. The full IOC will select the host city on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.