The canoe slalom venue for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be “absolutely wonderful” according to the International Canoe Federation (ICF).
The Whitewater Stadium course in Deodoro is one of the most complex new builds in the Rio 2016 project, but the International Federation praised the progress being made and said work was “on schedule”.
Jean Michel Prono, the ICF technical delegate who will be responsible for approving the course, was in Rio for the seventh time to assist with the project, which is being delivered by the Rio city government. Rio 2016 will be Prono’s seventh consecutive Games as a coach, administrator or ICF delegate in canoe slalom, and he told rio2016.com that he was pleased with what he had seen.
“I’m really impressed by the progress, the construction is going very well, the venue is great,” said the Frenchman. “The general views, landscape and atmosphere of the venue will be absolutely wonderful.
Now we are focusing on more specific aspects, such as channel construction, the obstacles – how we create this artificial river in the middle of Rio.
“We must shape and tune this river to have a flow of 12-13 cubic metres per second, with waves, eddies and other features,” continued Prono.
“It is an artificial river, but it follows the principals of a natural river – and we must play with this: directing, slowing and accelerating the water along the course.
“We will have a very, very good international standard competition course, and we will probably save energy and operating costs, in comparison to London (the 2012 Games), as we learn from one experience to the next.”
Construction is almost completed on the reservoir that will feed the 250m course. Fully modular, man-made obstacles will be placed along the course to simulate the rocks found on natural rapids.
An innovation of the Rio 2016 project is the use of pre-casted slabs for the river bed, something which Prono says could be used in future Games.
The canoe slalom is well on course and will remain as a permanent legacy after the Games, called the X-Park (Image: EOM)