Sports federations concerned about venues for Rio Games

 19 Apr 2016 - 14:14

Sports federations concerned about venues for Rio Games
Colombia's Jossimar Orlando Calvo Moreno puts drying powder on a bar before the final of Parallel bars during the artistic gymnastics test event for Rio 2016 Olympic games at Rio Olympic Arena of the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 18, 2016. / AFP / YASUYOSHI CHIBA

 

LAUSANNE, Switzerland: International sports federations expressed concern Tuesday over problems with venues for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, including power failures at the gymnastics arena this week.

Members of the Association of Olympic International Sports Federations reviewed preparations for the Rio Games, which open in less than four months on Aug. 5.

"They miss some very important details in each field of play," ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said at the group's annual meeting.

Ricci Bitti told delegates that IOC President Thomas Bach "is worried like you, like me" about details for Rio.

Rio's sports director acknowledged to the 28 Olympic sports that the city's seven-year preparations "were not perfect or up to your expectations" but said the games would be a success.

"I can assure you that the athletes will not have any problems in games time, nor any of you in your events," Agberto Guimaraes said.

The comments followed complaints raised by the gymnastics federation, known as FIG, which is holding its artistic gymnastics test event at Rio Olympic Arena this week.

FIG official Ron Froehlich cited power outages, putting at risk athletes' safety and the scoring system, plus missing equipment at an underfunded temporary training venue.

"Most important, they have problems with regard to the Omega (scoring) system," Froehlich said. "Furthermore, power outages while the athletes were performing, which is a very serious issue."

The absence of flooring at a temporary training center venue was "due to lack of funding," he said.

Earlier, ASOIF director general Andrew Ryan disclosed that two top IOC officials will travel to Rio soon to work more closely on preparations.

Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games executive director, and sports director Kit McConnell are "moving permanently" to the host city, Ryan said.

Dubi's predecessor, Gilbert Felli, was assigned to work with local organizers two years ago amid growing concerns about Rio's readiness.

Guimaraes also addressed longstanding problems of water pollution and "floating garbage" in Rio, and the possibility of officials' accommodation — including a Trump hotel — not being ready, before giving further assurances.

"The athletes will be happy with the results they we have achieved," he said. "You and your federations will be happy with the level of service that we will provide to you."

Rio organizing committee head Carlos Nuzman said the impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff would not affect the final preparations.

"Until today we have no involvement, no problems with any political or economic situation in the country," Nuzman said.

AP