Rio’s Olympic basketball court stages the International Women’s Tournament as the official test event for the upcoming Summer Games.
Rio holds Olympic basketball test event
SHOWS: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (JANUARY 16, 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)
1. AUSTRALIA AND ARGENTINA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAMS PLAYING IN OLYMPIC TEST EVENT, WITH A SIGN IN BACKGROUND READING (IN PORTUGUESE): “#OLYMPICCITY”
2. GAME IN PROGRESS AND AUSTRALIA PLAYER SHOOTING
3. SCORE BOARD DURING MATCH BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND ARGENTINA
4. TEAMS RUNNING DOWN THE COURT AND AUSTRALIA PLAYER SHOOTING
5. REFEREE WATCHING ON WITH WHISTLE IN HER MOUTH
6. AUSTRALIA’S STAR PLAYER, ERIN PHILLIPS, MARKING OPPOSITION
7. ARGENTINA PLAYER SHOOTING A PENALTY
8. BASKETBALL ON THE GROUND IN BETWEEN LOGOS FOR RIO CITY HALL AND THE RIO DE JANEIRO STATE GOVERNMENT / REFEREE FLICKING UP BALL WITH HER FOOT
9. REFEREE HANDING BALL TO JUDGE AT THE END OF THE GAME
10. AUSTRALIA TEAM SHAKING HANDS AS THEY WALK OFF THE COURT
11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIA PLAYER, ERIN PHILLIPS, SAYING:
“It is bright, it is vibrant, like I said when I walked in here I was like ‘Wow, this is a really cool arena, a cool stadium,’ so I like the vibe that I get when I am here. The floor is fantastic, I feel really good to play on it, practising on it. I think it has very good spring in it. Overall I think it is a great court.”
12. ARGENTINA PLAYERS, INCLUDING POWER FORWARD, OMELA SANTANA, COMING OFF THE COURT
13. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARGENTINA POWER FORWARD, OMELA SANTANA, SAYING:
“There is an extra something in it for us, because the fans can come and watch us here. It is another plus, if we can qualify, that (the Games) take place in Rio.”
14. CLOSE-UP OF SEVERAL BALLS BEING SHOT THROUGH THE HOOP
15. BRAZIL TEAM SHOOTING HOOPS IN WARM UP
16. BRAZIL PLAYERS BEING PRESENTED TO CHEERING CROWDS
17. CROWDS CHEERING
18. VARIOUS OF AUSTRALIA COACH, BRENDAN JOYCE, SPEAKING TO REPORTERS
19. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIA COACH, BRENDAN JOYCE, SAYING:
“What I here about what people said about us during the Olympic Games in Australia is that we are friendly and helpful, and just did anything they could, and people around the world had – it was like one big party, you know, as I just mentioned. And Brazilians are very similar, so I am hoping it is going to be the same.”
20. BRAZIL TEAM SCORING AND CROWD CHEERING
21. CROWD BANGING INFLATABLE CLAPPERS
22. A YOUNG GIRL WATCHING THE GAME ANXIOUSLY AND BANGING INFLATABLE CLAPPERS WHEN BRAZIL SCORES
23. CROWD CLAPPING IN A BUILD UP TO A BRAZIL PLAYER SHOOTING A PENALTY
STORY: Rio’s freshly inaugurated Olympic basketball court was put to the test on Friday (January 15) night in the International Women’s Tournament, serving as the official test event for the Summer Games in just seven months’ time.
Among the teams competing during the weekend tournament is Brazil, which has its place in the bag as host nation, and Australia, which booked its spot by winning the Oceania qualifier. Joining them are Venezuela and Argentina, still battling out for a qualifying position.
Medalists at the last five Olympic Games and currently ranked number 2 in the world, Australia are the favourites to win the tournament, fronted by star player Erin Phillips, who was among the winning Beijing team.
The 30-year-old, who also won gold at the 2006 world title in Sao Paulo, said the new stadium was another reason for her to relish playing on Brazilian soil.
“It is bright, it is vibrant, like I said when I walked in here I was like ´Wow, this is a really cool arena, a cool stadium,´ so I like the vibe that I get when I am here. The floor is fantastic, I feel really good to play on it, practising on it. I think it has very good spring in it. Overall I think it is a great court,” said Phillips.
Comparing the journey to Rio with that of Phillips and her team, Argentina’s power forward, Omela Santana, expressed her hopes to be able to take advantage of the first South American Olympics so close to home.
“There is an extra something in it for us, because the fans can come and watch us here. It is another plus, if we can qualify, that (the Games) take place in Rio,” Santana said.
The test event will also feature a wheelchair basketball match between two Brazilian teams on Sunday, to test the accessibility of the venue.
Across the three days, 266 people – 188 of them volunteers – will work at the event, with the competition area, workforce, sports equipment, volunteers and anti-doping to be the main areas tested.
Though the 16,000-seater stadium was officially closed to the public for the women’s tournament, a small number of invited guests were enough to make some noise.
Despite the numbers, the celebrations in the stands reminded Australia coach Brendan Joyce of the spirit at Sydney’s 2000 Olympic Games, exciting him for the edition to come.
“What I hear about what people said about us during the Olympic Games in Australia is that we are friendly and helpful, and just did anything they could, and people around the world had – it was like one big party, you know, as I just mentioned. And Brazilians are very similar, so I am hoping it is going to be the same,” said Joyce.
The $195 million-dollar stadium, the Carioca Arena 1, is a permanent installation within the Olympic Park, which will be used as an Olympic Training Centre for high level athletes following the Games.
Other installations within the Park which have already been handed over include the International Broadcasting Centre and the Arena of the Future, which will be dismantled after the Games, its materials recycled for the construction of four schools.