IOC President Thomas Bach enjoys with fellow spectators in the inaugural Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai. GETTY IMAGES

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach hailed the inaugural Olympic Qualifier Series (OQS) a benchmark for future Olympic Qualifiers as he made his closing remarks on the last day of the event, which ran from 16-19 May.

"With this event, China and Shanghai have once more set the benchmark for the organisation of Olympic events and big sporting events with venues and organisation here absolutely up to the top standards," Bach said.

The OQS is the organisation’s new multi-sport festival-style series that will determine which athletes will go on to represent their respective countries in BMX, breaking, climbing, and skateboarding. The two-part series began in Shanghai and will conclude in Budapest.

The four-day inaugural event was attended by 45,000 spectators, 30 percent were under 18 years old, and 58 percent were aged between 18 and 45. Bach was only too pleased to see the Olympic legacy being passed down to a younger generation. 

"If you look at the public here, it's indeed the younger generation that is enjoying this new Olympic experience," The IOC President observed.

"This is the result of our Olympic Agenda reforms, which are promoting sports to be more urban, more youth, more inclusive, and more sustainable, and also representing gender equality," he added. 

China dominated in the women’s BMX, with three of their athletes Sun Sibei, Sun Jiaqi and Deng Yawen securing first, second and third in BMX Freestyle Park. Bach observed the country’s development in the new Olympic sports with keen interest. 

"It's another amazing development here in China. Because five years ago, there were hardly any Chinese athletes being represented in these new sports. Now, in these very few years, you see here a number of athletes who, with their performances, are establishing themselves, not only as the participants of the Olympic Games, but also as potential medal winners in the event." he said.

The Asian country is eager to support their local heroes in these new Olympic sports: making up 89% of the spectators in the crowded stands of the OQS. 

The second stop of the series will unfold in Budapest on 20-23 June.