Photo: IOCThe countdown clock is unveiled in Nanjing
The countdown has officially begun for the start of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, which next year are being held in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing.
Friday 16 August marks one year until the second Youth Olympic Games kicks off and if Singapore 2010 was anything to go by, tennis fans are in for a real treat.
The Tennis Event at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an ITF Grade A competition that brings together the world's best players in the 18 & under age category.
Singapore 2010 was the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, and now China will host the second ever YOG at Nanjing 2014 on 16-28 August.
The one-year countdown also coincides with the start of the Asian Youth Games, which are providing fans and organisers alike with a sneak preview of the event in action.
Not only will the tennis facilities be put to good use during the Asian Youth Games, but the city has been decorated with banners promoting the event, which will give a good indication of how it will look in a year's time.
The anniversary was also commemorated in Nanjing by the unveiling of the Countdown Clock that will tick away the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the Opening Ceremony.
The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, said in a recorded message: “In exactly one year, Nanjing will welcome the world’s best young athletes for the second edition of the summer Youth Olympic Games. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the talented Organising Committee team, Nanjing will certainly host a wonderful and memorable YOG.”
He added: “These Games will offer the chance to witness something very special – the Olympic champions of the future. They will inspire young people around the world to become more active in sport and encourage them to embrace, embody and live by the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.”
Nanjing, located in East Central China on the Yangtze River, was selected as the host city at the IOC session in Vancouver, which took place prior to the 2010 Winter Games, with Poznan in Poland just missing out (47 votes to 42 votes).
The Nanjing Olympic Sports Center, which opened in 2005, includes stadiums for many of the YOG sports, such as athletics, swimming and tennis. The Tennis Center's main court has a capacity of 7,800 seats, then there are two further show courts, 14 outdoor courts and four indoor courts.
Tennis is one of 26 sports contested at the Youth Olympic Games with singles, doubles and mixed doubles events for boys and girls. Like other sports, the players compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. Mixed doubles is new for 2014.