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Volume 6 No. 211


IOC President Thomas Bach said that the organization announced a series of measures including a stronger presence in Rio de Janeiro "to monitor progress and speed up lagging preparations for the 2016 Olympics," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Bach said, "We had the meeting (on Thursday) in a very constructive atmosphere with our partners from Rio. We then took some decisions about ... how we can accelerate one way or another the works in Rio and how we can work even closer with the organizing committee and the different levels of government." Among the measures agreed "are the setting up of a decision-making body involving the government, the IOC and organizers so decisions are taken faster," and sending IOC Olympic Games Exec Dir Gilbert Felli to Rio sooner than initially planned. The frequency of assessment visits "will also be increased, and the IOC will also hire local project managers for the day-to-day execution of the plans and send specialized task forces consisting of experts to look into specific issues" (REUTERS, 4/10). REUTERS' Andrew Downie wrote organizers have acknowledged that "there are issues to be resolved." Rio 2016 said in a statement, "We are fully aware of the issues that need to be resolved. We are grateful for the input from all stakeholders." Although Rio won the right to host the event in '09, "construction work at venues where eight events will take place has yet to start and the pace of progress at others is slow" (REUTERS, 4/10).

The Incheon Asiad Main Stadium, "which will stage the opening ceremony of the 17th Asian Games, was unveiled" on Thursday, according to Kwon Sang-soo of the KOREA JOONGANG DAILY. The five-story main stadium "has a capacity of 62,848 people." Construction work "will be completed by the end of April," and is now about 90% complete. Preparation for the Asian Games "seem to be in good shape; 10 new sports venues, including Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center, Yeorumul Tennis Courts, Namdong Gymnasium Asiad Rugby Field and Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field, were completed about a year before the start of the games." The organizing committee also showed off the Main Press Center and the Media Village, "which will accommodate about 2,900 media staff" (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 4/11).

The Lviv 2022 Winter Olympics bid team will meet the IOC "as soon as possible" to decide whether the "troubled Ukrainian candidacy can meet its commitments as the country faces turmoil." Lviv officials said that "the bid had essentially been put on hold ahead of the presidential elections in May as Russia moved to occupy parts of the country, including Crimea" (REUTERS, 4/10). ... The Qatar Olympic Committee on Wednesday "was named the silver sponsor of the Sport Accord International Convention 2014 taking place in Antalya" (THE PENINSULA, 4/10).