Final touches for Rio venues

Published 31 July 2016 (AEDT)

Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre ©

Rowing pictogram

RIO 2016: With six days to go, Rio is ready...almost.

While temporary fences and bright witches hats line the precinct, inside is a different story.

The Olympic rings and flags hang high; as high as the hopes of the 11,000 athletes from around the world competing.

There have been concerns many of the venues would not be ready in time but the number of construction workers and cleaners on site show the locals are working around the clock to make it happen.

Rowing pictogram

The open air Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre is a sea of action playing host to the diving, water polo and synchronised swimming. Lenk is the Dawn Fraser of Brazil; the first Brazilian to set a world record in swimming. The Australian men’s water polo team trained today after flying in early this morning with their eyes on a debut Olympic podium finish.

Despite the parallel bars resting on the gymnasium floor, Larrissa Miller will do her best to raise the bar at the Rio Olympic Arena when it springs to life in coming days.

There’ll be high hopes for the Aussies at Carioca Arena 1 where the Australian men’s and women’s basketball teams will be vying for gold. The men are yet to stand on the podium at a Games, but this could just be the Olympics where that changes.

Rowing pictogram

Training has begun at the Rio Olympic Velodrome where our track cyclists have high expectations, after Australia won five medals at the London Games four years ago.

Fencing and taekwondo will be hosted in Carioca Arena 3 with the venue close to completion. While sadly there will be no Aussies in action in the fencing, we’ll be well represented in the taekwondo with partners Safwan Khalil and Carmen Marton, Carmen’s sister Caroline, and Hayder Shkara in the competion. 

Rowing pictogram

The workers’ muscles are being flexed as they put the finishing touches on Carioca Arena 2 where judo and wrestling be contested. Australia will have seven judokas in action, including brothers Nathan and Joshua Katz. Three Aussie wrestlers will show their stuff on the mats.

The familiar smell of chlorine shows the pool is fully operational at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium with various teams, including the Japanese, training. With three World Champions in Bronte Campbell, Mitch Larkin, Emily Seebohm among the 39-strong Australian swimming team, they will be aiming high.

With the Aussies still arriving and the venues almost ready, the countdown is on until the Rio Games kick off.

Sophie Onikul

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