Spectators guide to the X-Park Deodoro whitewater centre
The wonderful new Olympic venue in Deodoro further establishes canoe slalom in South America.
The World’s elite slalom paddlers first descended upon this new purpose built venue for the Olympic test event last November. International teams have been able to train on the course ahead of the Rio Olympics, which was also used as part of the selection process for the host Brazilian team.
The Deodoro course, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, is fed by 25 million litres of mildly chlorinated water. Interestingly, this was attracting 11,000 locals a day for a dip earlier in the year. The 4 massive pumps bring water to the top of the course, which then descends the 250 metres long class III-IV whitewater channel.
Paddler perception of Deodoro Whitewater Stadium
We have been asking those selected for the Olympic canoe slalom their view of the Deodoro course.
“The course in Rio is special”, says the European Champion, Melanie Pfeifer (GER:K1W), pictured above. “It is not as big as London and Athens. There are a lot of small waves that are not as easy to control. The course is kniffelig, a perfect German word to describe the course. Small, tight and technically demanding”.
"It’s a fun and tricky little course which isn’t as easy to paddle as it might seem at first sight”, says double World Champion Corinna Kuhnle (AUT:K1W)
According to double World Champion Peter Kauzer (SLO:K1M) “It’s not as big as previous Olympic courses but it has a lot of tricky features that can easily cost you a lot of time. I like it.”
"It’s not the biggest course, but the water is still challenging. I think it’s a fantastic course for the Olympic Games", describes twice Olympic medallist David Florence (GBR:C1M/C2M)
This all emphasises that the racing will be very tight racing, with slim margins that make a fine balance between risk and the clock.
Getting to the Rio Olympic Canoe Slalom venue
Here are tips on how to get to the X-Park Whitewater Stadium in Deodoro. The essential advice is to plan ahead, allow plenty of time and be prepared to walk.
SuperVia Train is by far the most reliable transport. The nearest station to the Whitewater Stadium is Ricardo de Alberquerqe.
Ricardo de Alberquerque SuperVia train station is 1,500 metres walk from the X-Park gates. Getting to the entrance gate of X-Park is then followed by security scanning on entry and a 10-minute walk uphill to get to the Whitewater Stadium spectator grandstands.
Services weekdays are every 20-minutes and every 30-minutes at weekends.
SuperVia trains can be accessed at the Central or Maracana stations. For Ricardo Alberqueque take the blue line Japeri train, a journey of 35 minutes. At Central there is one platform for the Japeri train, two sides to the platform so make sure you get the correct side! At Maracana be aware that both Japeri and Santa Cruz trains stop at the platform. Both go to Deodoro, but then the line splits.
The ticket cost is fixed. Buy from the ticket office and receive a one-way plastic card that drops into the turnstile and lets you through.
Metro trains are excellent at serving Rio all the way down to Copacabana and Ipanema, connecting through Central or Maracana stations. The closest station to the X-Park is Magalhaes Bastos station.
The Metro has a fixed price ticket per journey and it is recommended to buy 20 Real$ Metro credits at a machine or from the ticket office. This swipe card can be re-charged. Metro runs slightly different routes at weekends to assist the usual mass migration to the beach over the weekend!
There is no recommended safe parking close to the venue. Street parking is ill-advised. Plan other options.
Spectators are well catered for at the Deodoro X-Park venue. Be aware that only cash or Visa is accepted at the Olympic venues. Refer to this official spectator guide, which includes maps of the site.
Competition Schedule Canoe Slalom
The competition starts on August 7 with heats and finishes on August 11.
This Canoe Slalom Competition Schedule summarizes brilliantly the 5 days of thrilling, tense and exhilarating competition watched from the spectacular 8,000 seater stadium or TV.
- Sunday, August 7 – Men’s C1M and K1M Heats
- Monday, August 8 – C2M and K1W heats
- Tuesday, August 9 – C1M semi-final, final and podium
- Wednesday, August 10 – K1M semi-final, final and podium
- Thursday, August 11 – C2M and K1W semi-final, final and podium
Heats: The heats comprise two timed runs down the course to which penalties in seconds will be added. There are 2 seconds for a touch on a gate and 50 seconds for missing or incorrectly negotiating the course. The athletes/boat start in reverse order of their ICF canoe slalom world ranking. The better of the two timed runs, including penalties are used to rank the paddlers after the heat. Competitors go off at 3-minute intervals, so each competitor is expected to finish before the next competitor crosses the start line.
Semi-finals: This is run in reverse order of the heats, with the winner of heat 1off last from the start. The semi-final comprises one timed run down a new course to which penalties (as above) are added.
Final: This is run in reverse order of the semi-final, with the winner of semi-final off last from the start. This is one timed run down the same course as the semi-final to which penalties are added. Fastest time will be our new Rio2016 Olympic champions!
The table below summarizes the number of boats in each respective heat, semi-final and final.
|K1M||22 boats||15 boats||10 boats|
|K1W||21 boats||15 boats||10 boats|
|C1M||19 boats||12 boats||10 boats|
|C2M||12 boats||11 boats||10 boats|
Keep tuning in
Tomorrow’s post will start examining the four classes, giving insight into the equipment, techniques and paddlers.
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