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Rio readies festivities for one-year Olympic countdown

Rio 2016 organisers have outlined plans for "nine days of intense activity" as the city steps up preparations for the first Olympics in South America.

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 1 (IANS) Rio 2016 organisers have outlined plans for "nine days of intense activity" as the city steps up preparations for the first Olympics in South America.

From August 1 to 9, the city will host three Olympic test events, a glitzy celebration to mark the one-year-out milestone and a cultural fair organised by the city government, according to Rio2016.com, Xinhua reported on Friday.

Copacabana will kick off proceedings when it hosts the triathlon test event on Saturday and Sunday, which will also offer six qualifying places for next year's Games.

On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will be present for a celebration to mark the start of the one-year countdown to the opening ceremony.

The event will include a concert with performances by renowned local artists Diogo Nogueira, Roberta Sa and Zeca Pagodinho.

Wednesday will also mark the start of the 2015 world rowing championships at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, which also doubles as the sport's Olympic test event.

The following day the equestrian test event will begin at the Deodoro Olympic complex.

The celebrations will conclude with a fair on August 8 and 9 featuring concerts, exhibitions and cultural activities across the city.

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