The MPC is declared open by IOC and RIo officials ©ITG

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission members praised progress but warned that deadlines remain "tight" on the first day of their final inspection visit ahead of Rio 2016 here. 

IOC Coordination Commission chair Nawal El Moutawakel officially opened the Main Press Centre (MPC) and Live Site in the Olympic Park, along with Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman.

Paes praised the skyscraperesque MPC for being funded through private investment before El Moutawakel hailed it as a "unique and beautiful venue".

"From here, beautiful stories will go to the world," the Moroccan said. 

The group then travelled across the Park to open the Live Site, billed as a a "conviviality area for the public bordering the Jacarepaguá Lagoon and part of the Olympic Park’s public domain".

The area, consisting of 26,000 square metres, has capacity for 25,000 people.

It is located at the end of the Olympic Way - the winding path inspired by the Copacabana boardwalk which runs through the whole Park.

Paes, Nuzman and El Mouwatakel were joined by a selection of Coordination Commission members, including IOC Executive Board members C K Wu of Taiwan and Sergey Bubka of Ukraine.

The media were not allowed in to attend the official opening of the MPC.

The Live Site on the Olympic Way was also declared open ©ITG
The Live Site on the Olympic Way was also declared open ©ITG

Other members of the Commission travelled to the second main Olympic Cluster at Deodoro this evening to inspect venues there.

Both Wu and Bubka praised preparations with less than four months to go until the Olympics and Paralympics are due to begin.

Bubka claimed the Games will be unaffected by the ongoing political problems across Brazil and believes ticket sales will rise before they begin.

He also expressed his confidence that the track in his own sport of athletics will be laid before a test event, doubling as the Ibero-American Championships, scheduled for May 14 to 16.

Wu admitted that deadlines remain "tight" but claimed they are pleased with everything they have seen so far.

The Municipal Olympic Company responsible for construction work claimed last week that the Olympic Park is now 98 per cent completed.

Much installation and infrastructural work is still required once they are handed over to Rio 2016, however.

The velodrome is still behind schedule, leading to the test event being cancelled.