Rio 2016 have hit back at critics who claim venues will remain incomplete when the Olympic and Paralympic Games begin in a little over two years' time, by insisting 38 per cent of venues are already completed and there is progress with all the others.
Following the bombardment of criticism received in recent weeks, a statement released today by Brazilian officials claims "construction progress can be seen in the four Rio 2016 competition zones".
Of the 29 permanent venues, it claims 11 are operational, eight require some renovation work and the other 10 will form part of the sporting legacy being constructed in the city, while there will also be eight temporary venues used to host competitions.
In particular, in the main Olympic Park in Barra de Tijuca, the foundations have now been set for Olympic Halls 1, 2 and 3, where basketball, judo, wrestling, fencing and taekwondo will take place.
The nearby golf venue site is now being irrigated in order to allow grass planting to begin.
At Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, venue for rowing and canoe sprint, depth studies have been completed, while at Flamengo Park, the design of the integrated route for the athletics, road cycling and Para-cycling courses has started, it was added.
But all of this is unlikely to alleviate concerns, with fears remaining over pollution levels in the Lagoa, as with venues for other water sports.
Most significantly, at the second major Games hub in Deodoro where seven Olympic and three Paralympic disciplines will take place, the statement admits that while the tender process is underway, construction is not scheduled to start until later this year.
The biggest obstacle appears to be preparations for the four new venues, the Olympic BMX Centre, the Olympic Whitewater Stadium, the Olympic Hockey Centre and Deodoro Arena, which will host the fencing part of modern pentathlon, some basketball matches and wheelchair fencing.
The statement today bills these four new venues as "part of the important sporting legacy the Games will leave to the city".
"Even though they may not be highly visible, the preparative groundwork and foundation construction, that occurs underground, are extremely important for the final structure and often account for 20 per cent of the total volume of construction."
Work is also finished on the venues for football, archery, athletics and volleyball in the Maracanã Zone to the north of the city, as well as on the four sites outside Rio where football will be held, in Salvador, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and São Paulo.
But no update has been provided on measures taken to improve the sailing venue at Guanabara Bay, which has been dogged by pollution fears ahead of a test event due to begin on August 2 this year.
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