Bolt cool on Rio Olympic stadium closure

Rio de Janeiro, March 29 (IANS) Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt said he does not believe the closure of Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic athletics stadium will impact the city’s preparations for the 2016 Games.

The Engenhao Stadium was shut Tuesday after an appraisal by an independent engineering firm showed the venue’s roof could collapse due to structural problems, reports Xinhua.

Bolt, who is in Rio to compete in a 150m exhibition event on the iconic Copacabana beach Sunday, Thursday backed organisers to find a quick solution to the problem.

“Accidents happen but I am sure that it will be corrected before 2016. We have quite a lot of time until then,” the 26-year-old said during a press conference at his luxury beachside hotel.

Dubbed Mano a Mano – meaning hand in hand in Portuguese – Sunday’s race will be staged on a temporary track that has been custom-built on the sand.

Bolt’s opponents will be Ecuador’s Ibero-American 100m and 200m champion Alex Quinonez, US 200m runner Wallace Spearmon and a yet to be confirmed Brazilian athlete.

The six-time Olympic champion holds the 150m world record with a mark of 14.36 seconds achieved in Manchester in 2009.

“I have already participated in a street event but this is the first time that I will run on the beach,” Bolt said. “I am really confident and excited. My strength has always been the final stretch and in the 150m that suits me even more.”

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