Olympics: Rio signs off 2016 venue masterplan

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Rio Games Organisers said on Thursday that they and international Olympic federations have signed off a venue master plan.

In a statement, organisers said a two-day eighth International Olympic Committee (IOC) Project Review had concluded with "significant progress" on readying the 2016 tournament, the first to be held in South America.

"We have enjoyed two very busy and productive days of meetings (and) benefitted from the International Olympic Committee's expert guidance and support," Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman said.

"Working hand-in-hand with our colleagues from the three levels (municipal, state and federal) of government, we have made important advances in our project. We are proud to have finalised the Venue Masterplan in record time, 1,000 days ahead of the Games.

"Hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games is a hugely demanding project, with many challenges, but we are firmly on track and working every day with great focus, energy and commitment to deliver unforgettable Games in 2016."

IOC Sports Director Christophe Dubi said: "Completion of the detailed venue master plan two-and-a-half years out is an excellent result. It compares favourably with previous editions of the Games, which saw adjustments later in the preparations."

The meeting, also attended by Rio 2016 Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel and Brazilian Minister for Sport Aldo Rebelo, assessed key areas including accommodation, transport, sustainability, legacy, engagement and communications.