(ATR) The Moroccan will accompany IOC president Thomas Bach to Brazil next month for crunch talks on Rio 2016 preparations in her role as head of the IOC co-com. It’s a sign of the IOC’s growing impatience with Brazil; the German was not planning a trip until after the Sochi Olympics.
Despite El Moutawakel’s best efforts troubleshooting the Rio Games, Brazil is languishing behind schedule on several fronts, not least the development of the Deodoro Olympic Park where eight sports are to be staged.
With little more than two years to go, Bach’s meeting with Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is a matter of urgency. El Moutawakel, 51, may have played most of her diplomatic cards with 2016 organisers. In 2014, the 400m hurdles Olympic champion will have to push Brazil harder to accelerate venues and infrastructure projects.
An IOC vice president since 2012, she will be ably assisted in her uphill battle to get Rio 2016 back on timetable by Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli. Never reluctant to criticize Olympic organisers when required, his expertise is invaluable to both the IOC and Rio 2016. The Swiss can put his retirement plans on hold for two years. After handing over his role to Christophe Dubi in August, which has been in the planning for many months, he’s been asked to transition to a position with Rio 2016 to offer his input across the project in order to deliver a successful Games.
2013 ranking: 6
Reported by Mark Bisson
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