Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Rio will host a great Games, says Coe

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Coe

DOHA, Qatar:

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President, Sebastian Coe remains confident that this year's Olympic Games, slated to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between August 5 and 21, will be a success despite the upheaval currently taking place in the country.

It is widely expected that on Wednesday members of the Latin American country's senate will vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. The country is also facing economic challenges and still battling the Zika epidemic.

But despite all this, Coe said no consideration is being given to moving the Games.

"The Rio Games are going to take place, and I know it will be a success, and our responsibility now, as member federations, international federations and members of the sporting community, is to do everything we can to help the organising committee and make this a great Games," Coe told The Sunday Gleaner.

Coe said that close tabs have been kept on what is going on in the country in terms of preparations for the games and he himself will be journeying there shortly for a firsthand view of things.

"Our competition team is regular in Rio," Coe revealed. "I am going in a couple of weeks' time to watch the test events in Rio, the Ibero-American Championships in Athletics, so I will get a better feel of how the stadium is working and all those things."

Having been chairman of London's organising committee for the 2012 Games, Coe says he understands the difficulties involved in planning for one of the world's biggest events, but believes Brazil will put on a great spectacle.

"I know how tough this is and I am sure that Rio will be a good Games and I think they have a spirit that will surprise a lot of people," Coe said.

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com