Rio Olympic stadium closed due to roof problems

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Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium, photo by Ministério das Relações Exteriores Brasil

Rio Olympic stadium closed due to roof problems

Rio 2016: the Rio de Janeiro stadium that was set to host athletics tournaments during the 2016 Olympics has been closed indefinitely due to structural problems.

The Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium, known locally as the Engenhao, will have to undergo roof repairs before it can be declared fit for use.

Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes said he had been told that the structural problems could pose a risk for spectators, depending on the wind speed and temperature.

"On that basis, I immediately decided to close the stadium until we had more details," he told a news conference.

"It's simply not acceptable that a stadium which was inaugurated such a short time ago now has to face this sort of situation."

Designed by architects Carlos Porto and Gilson Santos, the stadium opened late and over budget in 2007 and is currently the city's main football venue while the Maracana Stadium is rebuilt for this year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

Rio intends to build only nine permanent sites and six temporary venues for the 2016 Olympics in an attempt to avoid the legacy of 'white elephant' sporting venues suffered by former host cities Athens and Beijing.

Other sports venues we've reported on lately include Zaha Hadid Architects' successful bid to design the new national stadium for Japan and a competition-winning design for a football stadium in Ethiopia with stands built into mounds of earth – see all stadiums.

Photograph is by the Brazilian Foreign Office.