Three years & counting: The lowdown on Rio’s Olympic venues

31 July 2013 / 17:40

With a year now having passed since the London 2012 Olympic Games, the clock is ticking on preparations for Rio in 2016 and athletes’ hopes of making the trip to South America.

Here’s a look at where Team GB’s athletes will be competing:

The Rio Organising Committee has been hard at work since the Games were awarded to Brazil in 2009 and the venues are split between four zones: Barra, Deodoro, Copacabana and Maracana.

Construction has just begun on the Barra zone’s three new sports pavilions. The Olympic Tennis Centre, Aquatics Stadium and Olympic Halls will be finished in 2015 and, along with the existing Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre and Olympic Velodrome, form the heart of the Rio Games.

The new Tennis Centre will be a 16-court facility with a 10,000-capacity centre court to host the finals and showcase matches throughout the tournament. From the old of Wimbledon in 2012 to the new of Rio in 2016, the Centre will remain after the Games with plans afoot to host international tennis tournaments on the site.

Team GB’s track cyclists will race in the velodrome that also hosted the 2007 Pan American Games, and with 5800 fans in such a small space it is sure to produce an atmosphere to rival that experienced in the London Olympic Velodrome.

The athletics stars of Team GB will compete in the 60,000-capacity Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium. Built for the 2007 Pan American Games, the capacity will be permanently increased from the original 45,000 for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Situated in the Maracana zone, the stadium is currently the home ground for the Botafogo football club.

Aquatics disciplines will be split between the Barra and Copacabana zones. Triathletes will swim in the ocean off the iconic Copacabana beach before cycling and running on roads that hug the beach. With temporary stands built facing out to the sea, it is sure to be a dramatic setting and one of the hottest Olympic tickets around.

Elsewhere in the Copacabana zone Team GB will hope to continue its success in water-based sports with rowing and sailing held at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and Marina de Gloria respectively.

A total of 20 Olympic disciplines will be hosted in Barra zone and as with the planning of many London Olympic venues, legacy has been considered when designing the new venues in Rio.

After the Games, the newly built venues will form the Olympic Training Centre – the first of its kind in South America – with more than 40,000m2 of space for the training of 12 sports as well as facilities for sports science research.