Heavy rains cause delays in laying Rio athletics track

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Heavy rain has delayed the laying of the athletics track for this year's Rio Olympics but there is little chance it will not be ready for test events in May, the man in charge of the project said on Tuesday.

The laying of the track was supposed to begin in February but carnival holidays followed by unusually heavy rains have contributed to delaying the scheduled start.

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"The material is there, it is all ready," Decio Chusid, the head of Playpiso Pisos Esportivos, the company that is laying the surface, told Reuters. "We are just waiting for the rains to stop and then we will get going, it shouldn't be long."

The rainy season in Rio usually ends around February or March.

Chusid said the concrete base was in place at the Olympic Stadium but needed to dry out before the track can be laid on top. If the concrete is humid there is a risk of bubbles developing on the newly laid surface.

It takes around 35 days to lay the entire track and it is usable the day after, Chusid added.

The stadium will be the site of the most eagerly anticipated events during South America's first Olympic Games, and will play host to household names such as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.

The athletics test event is scheduled for May 14-16 and Chusid said he is confident it will be ready in time.

"There is no alternative, it has to be ready and it will be ready," he said. "These things are often done at the last minute, the same thing happened with the Pan American games at the same stadium (in 2007). There were lots of problems but it was done in time. We are Brazilian, we are used to it."

Chusid's company is the Brazilian partner of Mondo, the Italian firm that has laid every Olympic athletic surface since 1976.

Together the two companies have laid more than 70 athletic tracks in Brazil, or more than 80 percent of those in the South American nation.

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Heavy rains cause delays in laying Rio athletics track
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: Passengers ride on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: Passengers ride on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: The conductor (R) makes an adjustment on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: The tram passes across the Lapa Arches on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: A worker (C) uses a rope to adjust an overhead electrical connection on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Alessandra washes kitchen items with a small hose amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Mounted police officer patrol the perimeter of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: People gather near the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: Waitress Vanessa poses between waiting tables on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Elizabeta Queiroz curls her hair in front of her makeshift home amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: A statue stands in front of Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: Brazilians play soccer on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Seats line Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Kids play amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Alessandra washes kitchen items with a small hose amidst the rubble of destroyed homes in the Metro-Mangueira community, or 'favela', located approximately 750 meters from Maracana stadium, on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has not been built. At its peak the 'favela' housed around 700 families. Evictions and demolitions continue in the area and have occurred in numerous other Rio communities with tangential links to the global sporting events. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: People play soccer during a tour of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: Mounted police officers patrol the perimeter of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 24: People stand while on a tour of the famed Maracana stadium on July 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maracana will be the site of the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was the site of the 2014 World Cup final. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: A wave breaks near bodyboarders on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: A vendor transports beach chairs on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 28: Dogs stand on the sidewalk on Copacabana beach on July 28, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The famed beach will host various Olympic events including beach volleyball, cycling, open water marathon and triathlon. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 27: Passengers (R) ride on the first day of pre-operations on the partially re-opened Santa Teresa tram line, or 'bonde', on July 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The historic tram has been closed since a derailing accident in 2011 which left six dead and fifty injured. The first stretch to re-open covers about one kilometer of the scenic ten kilometer route. It has been operating since the late 19th century and is one of the oldest electric streetcar lines in Latin America. Rio is working on various transportation upgrade projects ahead of the games. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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