Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium, which will host track and field event for the 2016 Rio Games, was forced closed back in March, and will now stay closed for another 18 months while workers fix dangerous structural issues with the venue’s roof.
The stadium, nicknamed the Engenhao, has been shuttered since March 26, when Mayor Eduardo Paes deemed it a “threat to fans” after a study showing that wind velocity and temperature change could cause the the roof to collapse.
The city then presented its own study Friday, which offered the same conclusion, and set a timeline for when the stadium might open for test events.
“There is a need to reinforce the roof’s structure so the stadium can be used, taking into consideration the proper requirements of safety,” contributing engineer Sebastiao Andrade told the Associated Press.
The stadium, built in 2007 for the Pan American Games, was hosting the Rio state football championship and the Copa Libertadores when it was closed, but thankfully wasn’t scheduled to host any of next summer’s World Cup matches. The construction also isn’t likely to affect the lead up to the 2016 Games, which are still more than three years away. But still…
“To close a stadium so soon after it was opened is a tragedy, is a shame,” Alexandre Pinto, the city’s official in charge of public constructions, said. “There were several mistakes in this project.”
Puma has introduced the “BeatBot,” a self-driving, line-following robot that runners can program to move at a specific pace around a track.
That means one could race against a robot-version of Usain Bolt‘s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds, with BeatBot’s top speed at just over 27 miles per hour.
The BeatBot can also navigate track curves, as shown in the video above.
Puma plans to roll out BeatBot to various track programs around the world over the year.
MORE: Bolt, Ashton Eaton set for showdown
Several U.S. Olympic champions highlight the Penn Relays and Drake Relays fields, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday.
At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, the U.S. 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m pools include:
Justin Gatlin: 2004 Olympic 100m champ
Tyson Gay: Olympic 100m, fourth place
Carmelita Jeter: Olympic 100m silver medalist
Jeremy Wariner: 2004 Olympic 400m champ
Sanya Richards-Ross: Olympic 400m champ
Also competing will be two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist Kerron Stewart and 2015 World 200m silver medalist Elaine Thompson for Team Jamaica.
STREAM: Penn Relays: 12:30-3 p.m. ET
Next is the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, including:
- 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt versus 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James in the 400m
- World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham in the high jump. Cunningham, 18, is the daughter of retired NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham.
- 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson versus 2013 World champion Brianna Rollins in the 100m hurdles.
STREAM: Drake Relays: 3-5 p.m. ET
MORE: Full NBC Olympic trials broadcast schedule