Olympic Velodrome does well at its first day of functioning, with seven records beaten

Spectators wondered at the site’s beauty and organization

The Rio Olympic Velodrome, where cycling track competitions will take place, opened its doors to the public this Thursday (11) in great style. In the first day of competitions, the audience complimented the beauty and comfort offered by the site, but the athletes were the ones who liked it most. After all, no less than 7 records were beaten (1 world record, 6 Olympic records) in one day.

The first medal won at the Velodrome was a bronze one, earned by France. The team defeated Australia with a timing of 43.143 seconds on the fight for the third place of the male speed contest. Great Britain and New Zealand competed for gold. The Europeans were twice victorious, winning the contest and establishing a new Olympic record for the modality: 42.440 seconds.

The remaining Olympic records came on the women’s team pursuit contest, with Poland, Italy and Australia. Great Britain’s women’s team, although it didn’t win a medal, broke the world record at the classificatory stage, with 4min13s260. The fight for medals takes place on Saturday.

Radical turns

Green and blue seats grab the attention of those who enter the Olympic Velodrome. They are located around the track, which has a light wooden floor. The circuit in oval shape is taller at the edges and circles a central area, where the referees and TV cameras are located. There also is where the athletes wait, before and after competing. “It’s the first time I attend such a contest, and I didn’t know the turns had such slants”, said Fabio.

Native of São Paulo Fábio Guedes exchanged his judo tickets for the opportunity to see the Olympic cyclists from close by. He was amazed at the setting. “I think the placement of chairs makes the audience comfortable”, said Fábio, who enjoyed the track. “It is top notch”, he summed up.

While Venezuelan Cesar Marcano performed at the track, his family was at the audience, cheering. The athlete’s father, mother and two children came from the city of Miranda to pay tribute to him in today’s contests, and they approved the velodrome. “This is the only arena we have visited, but I thought it was all very pretty and organized”, commented Aleia Sanchez, Cesar’s mother.

This Friday (12), the arena hosts new contests starting from 4:00PM.

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