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.”
But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.
She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round.
No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the best hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seleswon the 1996 Australian Open.
But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.
Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.
Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.
Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).
No. 9 Taylor Fritz and No. 12 Frances Tiafoe are the highest-seeded Americans, looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.