International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach says his organization faces a difficult choice in choosing Beijing or Almaty as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Bach said in Britain on July 18 that both bids "are impressing our reform program...in very different ways" and said each city has worked hard in preparing their bids.
The IOC will select the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics at a session in Indonesia on July 31.
Bach said Beijing Olympic officials are "making excellent use of the existing facilities" with all the ice sports and major logistic infrastructure in the Chinese capital.
Almaty -- a traditional ski-resort area with experience hosting speed-skating competitions going back to the Soviet era -- has touted the close proximity of all sport venues to the city.
Bach said each city is "coming to Olympic Agenda 2020 from very different angles, and so it will not be an easy decision for the IOC members to take."
The IOC has been sharply criticized for allowing two countries with poor human rights records to be allowed to host an Olympics.
Based on reporting by dpa and Europe Online