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Rio Olympics must reach new level: IOC

Dead fish near the Olympic sailing venue in Rio Rio de Janeiro, Feb 26 (IANS): The International Olympic Committee has asked Rio de Janeiro to st ...

Dead fish near the Olympic sailing venue in Rio 

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 26 (IANS): The International Olympic Committee has asked Rio de Janeiro to step up preparations to a new level to ensure the city is ready for the 2016 Games.

The comments coincide with concerns about the progress of construction work at some venues and delays to a planned new metro line, reported Xinhua.

Speaking during a visit to facilities Wednesday, the IOC's coordination commission chairperson Nawal El Moutawakel said the coming months were crucial for preparations.

"Sites like the golf course, the velodrome and the equestrian cross-country have very aggressive timelines in order to be ready for the test events," she told media.

"Rio is entering the most intense period of preparations. A period where Rio must reach a new level of detail."

Most of the Olympic test events will be held in the second half of this year, including the equestrian cross country and golf.

El Moutawakel's remarks come a day after IOC president Thomas Bach said he was "satisfied" with the state of preparations.

The Games, to be held from Aug 5-21 next year, will be the first Olympics in South America.

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