IOC: It was was no mistake to elect Rio Olympic host city

International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams on Sunday firmly dismissed suggestions that Rio should not have been elected host city because of security and other concerns after several incidents.

"Of course we would still have the first Games in South America. It is not a central European and American thing. What has happened is very regrettable but it should not impact the big picture," Adams said.

Adams said Rio had for instance double the amount of security forces than London 2012.

But security concerns in Rio in general remain, with two Australian coaches reportedly attacked and a shooting reported outside the Maracana at the opening ceremony. According to organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada that involved a man who tried to rob two people who turned out to be plainclothes policemen.

An incident at the equestrian centre where a bullet hit the roof of a media tent remains not fully clear but Andrada said "the area was not targeted, it was nothing against the Games."

There was also a controlled explosion of an unattended backpack near the cycling road race finish.

Apart from security organizers were also hit by problems with long queues at security checks and low attendance figures.

"The mag&bag (security) problems have mostly been solved but security remains the main priority," Andrada said on Sunday.

Andrada partly blamed these delays for plenty of empty seats Saturday, and the venues were also far from full Sunday.

Andrada said Rio 2016 has sold 3.9 million of its 5 million tickets and already exceeded its budget target in this area by 5 per cent.

He insisted football, tennis and beach volleyball had good crowds and that the full evening swim session was "really beautiful."

However, he also conceded that Brazilians were still in a learning process when comes to watching other sports than than the popular football and volleyball, but this is "part of the legacy for the masses, especially for schools." Andrada also insisted that while seats remained empty the atmosphere was good at the venues.

Spectators and the media also complained Saturday about the lack of water and food at some concessions at the Deodoro venue, with logistics staff to supply the items now raised from 10 to 100.

Another problem arose on Sunday though out of control for organizers: high winds.

The conditions prompted the cancellation of the day's rowing heats programme and some tennis matches were also adjourned because of swirling winds.

However, Andrada said "the wind should ease off later in the afternoon."

Last update: Sun, 07/08/2016 - 19:42
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