December 5, 2014 / 6:59 PM / 4 years ago

Rio 2016 Games progress being made despite delays

MONACO (Reuters) - Preparations for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics are progressing well, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday, with organizers making up for lost time 20 months ahead of the Games.

The unnamed mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympic (R) and Paralympic Games are pictured during a visit at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro December 4, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

The city has been running behind schedule since being awarded the event in 2009 as the first-ever South American hosts.

Earlier this year the IOC urged Rio to speed up, vice-president John Coates calling preparations the worst he had experienced.

“The general feeling is progress is continuing to be made,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams after organizers made a presentation to his Executive Board on Friday.

“We are in that same phase as we were in London (2012), as we are in all Games. With less than two years to go it’s all about delivery now.”

Construction delays have plagued the build-up with the IOC repeatedly calling for improved collaboration between the various levels of government and organizers.

Work on the Deodoro Olympic Park started late and there have also been problems with the golf course due to its environmental impact, although the issue was settled last month with a court judge giving the green light for work to continue, according to Games chief Carlos Nuzman.

“This issue is now finished and grass planting will be completed by the end of the year,” Nuzman told reporters.

“We are on track now. We still have some issues but we are within the time frame,” added Nuzman who is also an IOC member.

There have been delays in completing the International Broadcast Center (IBC) and organizers are also struggling with water pollution at the sailing venue but it will not affect test events, said Adams.

“As for the sporting venues all the test events will happen on schedule,” he added. “For the IBC there is a project review next week where that will be discussed.”

Nuzman played down the IBC delays, saying the building was almost complete.

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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