Rio inaugurates two new sports facilities for Olympics

Rio de Janeiro, March 3 (IANS) Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes has inaugurated the Youth Arena and the Deodoro Stadium. Both facilities will be used in the Olympics to be held here in August.

While unveiling the facilities on Wednesday, Paes said the only facility that still worries authorities is the velodrome due to delays. The Youth Arena and the Deodoro Stadium form part of the Deodoro Sports Complex in the eastern zone of the city, reports Xinhua.

The Youth Arena will be used for female basketball, fencing in the pentathlon and wheelchair fencing in the Olympics and Paralympics and the Deodoro Stadium will be used for rugby tournaments, seven-a-side Paralympic football and three pentathlon categories.

Deodoro will be the second most important complex in the Olympics after the Olympic Park in terms of the number of competitions that will take place inside it. Work on the complex began in 2014 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Rio Mayor’s office were worried as there were some delays in construction.

In the same complex, four facilities have already been inaugurated and tested – mountain bike track, BMX track, kayaking circuit in rough waters and hockey centre.

“Many said the Deodoro facilities would not be ready in time for Olympics. Thankfully, everything is now ready in this complex,” said Paes during the inauguration.

The mayor promised the velodrome, which is 83 percent complete, will be inaugurated with a trial event scheduled for April. Paes said the delays were down to serious problems surrounding the company responsible for the works. For that reason, Paes agreed to contract another company to continue with the construction.

“We have had problems with this company for some time but the company has decided to out-source and employ a bigger company with larger capacity and more employees. For that reason we will be able to meet our estimated deadlines,” said the mayor.

At the weekend, the Deodoro Stadium will be tested out with an international rugby sevens tournament which will bring together 96 players from eight countries. This tournament will not only test the facilities but also the organisation within the stadium.

The Youth Arena will officially open its doors on March 10 when the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup gets underway.

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