Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro opened the spectacular new canoe slalom venue ahead of the start of the Olympic Games test event that runs from the 26-29 November.

The mayor, alongside Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, officially declared the venue open and then took to water in a raft guided by three-time-Olympic Champion, Tony Estanguet (FRA).

The executive secretary from the ministry of sport, Ricardo Leyser, the new executive secretary, Marcos Jorge, the Rio state governor, Luiz Fernando Bigfoot and the IOC executive director, Gilbert Felli, were also present at the courses official debut.

World's best impressed

Many of the world’s best canoeists are among the 122 competitors who will compete in the Olympic tester and all have been impressed by the technical 280 metre course.

Talking about its challenges, the 2012 K1M Olympic champion, Daniele Molmenti (ITA) commented, “It requires a lot of work mentally because you cannot rest, you have to maintain your focus during the entire course.”

Brazil’s Leonardo Curcel agreed, saying: “It demands a lot from us, even when you have the skills.”

Among the other leading canoeists from 26 countries who will take part are the Czech Republic’s Jiri Prskavec, who won the individual and team K1M world titles this year, France’s Emilie Fer, the K1W champion at London 2012, and Slovak twins Peter and Pavol Hochschorner, who have won medals together in the last four Olympic C2M events – three golds followed by bronze in London.

Delivered on Schedule

The canoe slalom course, which will be the centre-piece of the Whitewater Stadium during the Games, was delivered on schedule and will create a superb legacy for the sport following the Games, including hosting the ICF 2018 Canoe Slalom World Championships.

The rapids were first switched on in September. Previously the project had undergone innovative model testing at Prague’s Czech Technical University, as directed by project designers Whitewater Parks International.

The modelling team included former world champion Jaroslav Pollert, now a professor at the university, who said: “Our aim was to help create a technically challenging course, with characteristics that would allow the canoeists to use their varied skills and experience.”

The test event will also allow Rio 2016 and the ICF to test various aspects of its Games-time operations, with special focus on the competition area, results systems and the work of the technical officials.

The Olympic Canoe slalom competition is set for the 7th-11th August next year.

To follow the Aquece Rio Test Event - click here 


Canoe Slalom