A “countdown clock” has been set ticking in Singapore to help monitor its preparations for hosting the world’s first-ever Youth Olympics in a year’s time.

Unveiling the clock against the backdrop of the iconic City Hall, Singapore’s Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, S. Jayakumar, said on Friday night that the prospective global event would “celebrate youth, sporting excellence, international friendship, and respect for humanity.”

An Olympic Day Run, a carnival and a concert marked the commencement ceremony for clocking the year-long countdown.

According to the organisers, the Youth Olympics, slated for August 14-26 next year, will feature 26 sporting events for athletes in the age group of 14 years to 18 years. As a unique dimension, an education programme would also be held for the benefit of an expected turnout of about 5,000 athletes. The authorities hope to attract over 500,000 spectators.

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