Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian athletes have given their seal of approval to the Carioca 2 Arena after the Rio 2016 Olympic venue was officially opened.
The 10,000-seat facility — part of the Olympic Park complex in Rio’s southwestern neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca — will host judo, wrestling and boccia at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August and September, reports Xinhua.
“To see everything ready like this is even more motivation,” London 2012 Olympic judo champion Sarah Menezes told Rio2016.com on Saturday. “It’s a sign that it’s nearly here, it’s close.”
Joice Silva, one of the favorites for the -58kg freestyle wrestling gold medal in Rio, said: “I am already starting to imagine, to visualise my day, how it is all going to be,” Silva said. “Seeing everything ready makes me calmer, just being able to know where everything will be.”
Another athlete impressed by the venue was Maciel Santos, gold medalist in the individual BC2 boccia at the London Paralympic Games.
“You see yourself, the court, the crowd, your relatives, the Brazilian fans. It will be like it was in London,” Santos said. “I hope the Brazilian public really gets behind this Paralympic sport.”
Among the dignitaries at the inauguration were Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman and Brazil’s new Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani.
After the Olympics, the Carioca 2 Arena will become a sports training facility.