Golf test event for year before Rio unlikely to go ahead

Golf Federation president says course ‘construction is not where we want it to be’


Golf Federation president Peter Dawson has expressed his disappointment and concern at the state of preparations for golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016.

Dawson believes the proposed test event a year before the Games is unlikely to happen after recently visiting Rio and finding construction of the golf course at Reserva de Marapendi was behind schedule.

Last week the International Olympic Committee sent a clear warning to the organisers of the Games that “every second counts” after finding problems in the Brazilian city.

The IOC said that a “constant, concerted and integrated effort is required for the successful delivery of the Games and its legacy”.

‘We are not satisfied’
Dawson said yesterday: “We are not satisfied. I was down there just recently and, while the design of the course looks really good, the progress with the construction is not where we want it to be.

“There have been meetings held last week in Rio to revise the plan, increase manpower and facilities, which is designed to bring the project back on track.

“There have been so many revisions to the plan it’s quite hard to say how far behind they are but I think we are going to struggle to get a test event a year before the Games.

“I’m not writing that off completely but we have to recognise that might be difficult. However, I still think it will be ready in time for the Olympics.”

Warning notice
Dawson added: “Let me say that golf is not on its own here. Just the other day the International Olympic Committee issued a warning notice to their co-ordination commission, so this is not restricted to golf; Rio have got quite a few challenges ahead of them to get things done in time. But we are new to the Olympic Games, maybe this is normal.

“However, I think it’s particularly disappointing given how long ago we got in amongst this and got things started.

“I wouldn’t say I’m disturbed at this point and I’d much rather we were further ahead and that is concerning.

“There are other courses in Rio but there is no Plan B at present because I don’t think we’ll need one.”

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