/ 2 September 2009

Rio, Chicago favoured in IOC’s 2016 evaluation

Rio de Janeiro and Chicago’s chances of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games received a boost on Wednesday after they appeared to come out the best in the IOC’s technical evaluation of the four candidate cities.

The Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee’s evaluation report on the potential hosts said all of the candidates were of ”an extremely high level”.

However, the report released on Wednesday pinpointed key failings in Madrid and Tokyo.

Their Brazilian and US rivals appeared to have an organisational advantage after the IOC evaluation commission’s visits in April and May to examine facilities and planning.

Shortcomings were nonetheless still identified in both of the favourites, notably on transportation and some of the planned venues.

The evaluation commission expressed concern at ”the relatively low level of public support for a 2016 games in Tokyo” in the IOC’s opinion poll.

”During the venue visits, it became apparent to the Commission that a number of venues listed as existing would in fact need to be built,” it added.

”This lack of clarity could have communications and legacy implications.”

Meanwhile, the report faulted Madrid’s planned management and administrative structure, saying it ”did not demonstrate a full understanding of the need for clear delineation of roles and responsibilities.”

”Given the current complexity and magnitude of delivering a major multi-sports event such as the Olympic Games, this could result in organisational and financial challenges,” the report added.

It also warned that the Spanish capital’s plans for the Olympic Stadium, the rowing and open water swimming venues ”could result in significant construction, operational and financial challenges.”

IOC members are due to choose the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games in a vote on October 2 during their meeting in Copenhagen.

Sources close to the IOC said earlier this month that Rio de Janeiro’s bid to become the first South American city to host the Olympics has been gaining momentum, while Chicago has been losing ground. — AFP