Rio 2016: Mountain bike Olympic venue damaged by forest fire

Rio 2016: Mountain bike Olympic venue damaged by forest fire

The fire broke out near the Deodoro shooting venue and spread towards the mountain bike centre

A forest fire in Rio de Janeiro has damaged one of the Olympic venues with organisers waiting to assess the damage on Tuesday after the latest problem to hit the Games threatened to end with disastrous circumstances.

A fire started at around 16:00 local time [20:00 BST] in the scrub land near the shooting venue in Deodoro, where many other events have been taking place, before a strong wind blew the flames towards the mountain bike centre, with reports claiming that the venue had to be evacuated.

Heavy rain in Rio helped to dampen the flames before the wind changed direction to lessen fears of serious damage, but a full assessment will be carried out this morning to determine the damage done to the mountain bike centre ahead of this weekend’s competition.

Cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, said that it was aware of the fire but understood that the matter was now “under control”. The UCI also denied the reports of an evacuation and claimed that there was no athletes on the site as competition does not start until Saturday.

A statement from the Rio 2016 organising committee read: “The goal now is to prevent the fire reaching the surrounding community.

“Rio 2016 is assessing the impact on the mountain bike course. There were no injuries.”

The women’s mountain bike race is due to begin on Saturday morning with the men’s event taking place in Sunday – the final day of the Olympic Games.

The incident comes as the latest issue for Rio organisers to deal with. The Olympics have been blighted by issues away from the competition, with the main sailing ramp collapsing in the days leading up to the opening ceremony and the television broadcast centre being flooded when strong tides led to chaos near the volleyball arena.

Original source: The Independant

Sign In

Sign Up