Mon, Aug 01, 2016 - Page 12 News List

RIO DE JANEIRO OLYMPICS: Main ramp at Olympic marina partially collapses

AP, RIO DE JANEIRO

Boats are docked at Marina da Gloria, which is to host sailing events during the Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

Photo: EPA

The main ramp of Marina da Gloria, the sailing venue of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, partially collapsed on Saturday.

Organizers said no one was injured in the incident, which raises further questions about the quality of construction in the Olympic host city.

Philip Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Rio 2016 organizing committee, placed the blame on high tides and a stormy sea.

The collapsed structure, which is temporary, is the main access point for boats to reach the water.

Wilkinson also said the construction company responsible for the project has been contacted and is expected to make the repairs within four days.

Sailing competitions begin on Monday next week.

Training would not be affected, as the boats can use the permanent ramp to the side of the damaged structure, the committee spokesman said.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said “it would be wrong to make a great deal” of the Marina da Gloria incident.

“In the run-up to the Games, things happen,” Adams said.

World Sailing said in a statement that it is closely following the efforts to fix the ramp.

World Sailing spokesman Malcolm Page said that a coach boat pontoon was also damaged on Saturday.

In another incident caused by strong winds in Rio, water inundated TV studios on Copacabana beach near the Olympic volleyball arena. Iron boards were employed to contain the waves.

Rio’s construction standards have been under heavy criticism since April, when a new elevated bike path that was heralded as a top legacy project of the Rio Olympics collapsed, killing two people.

On Saturday, a much-delayed subway extension was inaugurated.

It is to open today to link the Ipanema and Copacabana beach areas to the western suburb of Barra da Tijuca, site of the Olympic Park. The line is to be available only to event ticket holders, athletes and media covering the Games.

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