Brazil Olympic athletes affected by World Cup
Rio de Janeiro, March 25 (IANS): Brazil’s 2011 pole vault World Champion Fabiana Murer has claimed the 2014 FIFA World Cup is negatively affecting Brazil’s preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 32-year-old said the best interests of athletes have been ignored as local organisers focus on meeting World Cup infrastructure deadlines, reports Xinhua.
“All the attention is being given to football and only after the World Cup will the focus turn to other sports. We are seeing athletes without clubs and training in difficult situations. I thought it was going to be better after the London Games,” Murer said Sunday.
Chief among Murer’s concerns is the demolition of the Celio de Barros stadium, once a key training base for Rio athletes. The venue will be bulldozed in the coming weeks as part of the Maracana Complex revamp.
“The Celio de Barros arena is a place where so many athletes trained. Now the situation is difficult. A track should have been built before,” Murer said.
Murer said she is over her dual Olympic disappointments after failing to win a medal at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games despite entering both competitions as favourites.