Sambodromo shows off potential as Rio 2016 archery host

One-hundred-and-twenty athletes from 27 nations competed at the test event for archery at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the city’s iconic Sambodromo.

The stadium in which Rio’s famous carnival takes place each year was transformed into an international archery arena but kept its unique festival atmosphere.

Choi Misun and Kim Woojin, the reigning World Archery Champion, each choreographed phenomenal individual performances to win test event gold. Recurve women’s winner Choi put 15 of her last 21 arrows of the competition into the 10-ring, while Kim did the same with 11 of his 15 arrows in the men’s gold medal match.

Korea won the recurve women’s team event. The nation has won every single gold medal at the Olympics in the event since its introduction to the Games in 1988. The Chinese recurve men’s team beat Canada in the fourth Aquece Rio final.

Athletes and officials used the eight-day event, run to a similar schedule to Games time, to familiarise themselves with the venue and logistics.

“The whole atmosphere here in Rio gave us a feeling for how things can be next year,” said men’s silver medallist Sjef van den Berg from the Netherlands. “Having the chance to shoot here, interact with the Brazilian culture and get a bit used to the weather, are things that will definitely help for our training.”

The 27 participating functional areas from Rio 2016 tested areas including results and timing, venue operations, overlay and sport operations.

World Archery Secretary General Tom Dielen said: “Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Sambodromo displayed its potential for being one of the best, if not the best, venues at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.”

“We tested the functional areas we wanted to test, we had – on the whole – good feedback from the athletes, and we experienced our sport in a venue that is in the very heart of Rio de Janeiro. From the views of the city and its lively atmosphere, and the Sambodromo itself, to the famous statue Cristo Redentor visible in the background, there’s no mistaking where we are and what we’re here for.”

“There are some adjustments and improvements to make ahead of the Games, including the feedback from our athletes. Our greatest concern is that the athletes are able to compete at their highest level. For that, we need to work on reducing the background noise level and providing the maximum feedback on wind conditions in the venue.”

“We’ll work with the Rio 2016 organising committee to ensure the best possible Olympics are delivered here, in Rio de Janeiro, next summer.”

Rio 2016 Executive Director of Sport Agberto Guimaraes said: “The test event was a great opportunity for us to work closely together with the International Federation and the local authorities to test various operations and see what can be improved and perfected for next year. We were very happy to hear positive feedback from the athletes about competing in such an iconic venue in the heart of the city, and it was fantastic to see archery featured prominently on the front page of one of the most prestigious newspapers in Brazil.”