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We are very confident, says Bach

23 January, 2014

BRAISLIA: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is satisfied with the progress being made by organisers of the 2016 Rio Olympics, pronouncing himself confident the event would be a success.

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Brazil is determined to ensure South America's first ever Olympiad goes smoothly.

But, as with its organisation of the World Cup this June, the giant nation has work on its hands to ensure it can carry out the major infrastructural overhaul that both events require.

Although IOC officials have dropped clear hints in the past they would like to see Rio make faster progress, Bach gave an upbeat assessment after talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

"We are very confident," said Bach.

"We have seen great progress in the last couple of months. The organising committee has worked extremely well," said Bach, on his first visit to the 2016 hosts since succeeding Jacques Rogge as head of the IOC last September.

However, he added that Rousseff was aware of the size of the challenge and had indicated that 'we don't have any day to lose' in massively upgrading urban and athletic facilities.

A continent-sized nation of 200 million, Brazil has been labouring to show the world it can overhaul itself in time for its first World Cup since 1950 and thereafter stage a memorable Olympic Games which the country hopes can transform Rio the way the 1992 tournament did Barcelona.

Earlier this month Sepp Blatter, head of world football ruling body Fifa, indicated the country had started its World Cup preparations too late after being awarded the event in 2007.

With just five months to go to kick-off, Brazil is racing against the clock but in the context of Rio 2016 has a little more breathing space, prompting Bach to take a positive view.


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