OLYMPIC chiefs have named Brisbane their preferred bidder to host the 2032 Games.
Queensland is now strong favourite after the International Olympic Committee unanimously backed the Australian state as its first “non-binding” choice.
Russia, Indonesia, Budapest, China, Doha and Germany’s Ruhr valley have also shown interest.
But Queensland capital Brisbane won bonus points for having many suitable sporting venues, an impressive masterplan, experience in organising major events and favourable weather.
IOC president Thomas Bach said: “The commitment of Australia and Oceania to Olympic sports has grown remarkably since the fantastic Olympic Games Sydney 2000.
“This is why we see such strong public support. We decided to seize an opportunity to take to the next stage our discussions about returning 32 years later.
“In this way, we are also acknowledging the strength of the Australian team and other athletes from across the continent of Oceania at the Olympic Games over the past decades.”
The IOC changed its bidding rules in 2019 to cut costs and make the process easier for cities.
It means there are no official candidate cities campaigning ahead of the ultimate decision.
Instead the Future Host Commission will IOC will undertake another review of the options before the final vote, on a date as yet undecided.
Commission head Kristin Kloster Aasen said of Brisbane’s bid: “They are a very advanced project, a number of criteria that sit very well with us.
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“It has been moulded for a number of years, good legacy plans, good venue plan.
“There are many, many things that made us put this forward.”
Queensland’s government-backed bid always looked in a powerful position, having successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.