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Main ramp collapses at Rio Olympics sailing venue

01 August 2016, 08:17

Rio De Janeiro — 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 that 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 Aug. 8.

Training will not be affected as the boats can use the permanent ramp to the side of the damaged structure, the Rio 2016's spokesman said.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams "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 following closely the efforts to fix the ramp. 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 volleyball arena. Iron boards were used 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 will open on Aug. 1 to link the Ipanema and Copacabana beach areas to the western suburb of Barra da Tijuca, site of the Olympic Park. The line will be available only to event ticket holders, athletes and media covering the games.

- AP


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