Rio's Olympic Park reaches 99% completion

Brasilia: Construction work on Rio's Olympic Park has reached 99 per cent completion as the Brasilian city finalises preparations for the Games slated to start on August 5. Five of the nine venues at the park are ready: Arena Carioca 1 (basketball), Arena Carioca 2 (judo, wrestling), Arena Carioca 3 (taekwondo, fencing), Future Arena (handball) and the aquatic centre (swimming), the city government said in a statement on Wednesday. The announcement comes just six days before Rio begins its one-month countdown until the Olympic opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium, Xinhua news agency reported. Despite the advanced stage of construction at most venues, work is still being completed on the velodrome, a warm-up pool at the Maria Lenk Aquatic centre, two tennis courts and access ramps at Olympic Arena. Media facilities and the Olympic Park hotel are ready. A joint venture between the public and private sectors, Olympic Park has been built at a cost of 2.3 billion reais (around $710 million). The Olympic Games will be staged from August 5 to 21. They will be followed by the Paralympic Games from September 7 to 18.