Rio spirit to ‘absorb’ Olympics: IAAF chief Coe

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Rio de Janeiro, May 17 (IANS) Rio’s “unique spirit” and warm hospitality will ensure that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are a success, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe has said.

Coe is currently in Rio to observe the Rio 2016 track and field test event at the Olympic stadium, which ended on Monday, reports Xinhua.

“I have spent a lot of time in Rio and this city has a unique spirit,” Coe said during a question-and-answer session with Rio 2016 staff on Monday.

“The great advantage you have — and me and my team from the IAAF saw this yesterday morning as we stood looking out onto the beach before heading off to work — we all looked at each other and said ‘this is the advantage’.

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“This is what you have and don’t for one moment overlook the unique spirit of this city, it’s an extraordinary city and it will absorb the Games. I think people will be surprised by the spirit these Games will generate.”

Coe, who was president of the London 2012 Olympic organising committee, added: “We (London) were seen as a city that reached out, and I’m absolutely convinced that’s what Rio will do. People who are here will feel very welcome and very wanted and that’s a priceless asset to have when you’re delivering a Games.”

The 59-year-old believes the new running track at the Olympic stadium will lend itself to new records during the Games in August and September.

He added that he had received positive feedback about the three-day test event from his IAAF colleagues.

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“They told me that the good news is that there’s no bad news,” Coe, a two-time 1,500m Olympic champion, said.



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