Olympics: NZ have plan to work around accomodation issues

By David Leggat

Rio 2016 officials are set to juggle athletes' accommodation to get around the unreadiness of portions of the Games village.

New Zealand's officials, headed by chef de mission Rob Waddell, were among the first to check into the village and found basic amenities below standard.

Now Australia have refused to move athletes into their allocated accommodation block due to a range of problems, including blocked drains and unsecured wiring. They are using alternative accommodation in the short term.

New Zealand Olympic Committee spokesperson Ashley Abbott said getting in early meant New Zealand were able to get assistance from Rio 2016 to tidy up facilities.

However she said officials have another plan to work around the unreadiness in the village.

''(Rio 2016 officials) have advised if teams are coming into an apartment building which happens not to be done, they will accommodate them in a tower that is," Abbott said.

In turn, as the more urgent repairs are done, other teams will be housed temporarily until their digs are completed.

''We have been able to get in early enough and sort ourselves out," she said.

''The key thing is about planning and the decision by our team to always be in there first, getting every advantage possible for our athletes and team. We have good relationships (with Rio officials) and the ability to get stuck in and be resilient."

A group of New Zealand's rowers are the first athletes to have arrived in Rio, with the Football Ferns team arriving in the next few hours.

Defending Olympic champion single sculler Mahe Drysdale and his double sculling training partners, Eve Macfarlane and Zoe Stevenson are in the village and Drysdale didn't seem perturbed by what he saw.

''Already taken ownership of the village, being the very first athlete from any country to arrive and get through the gates!" he wrote.

''All is good, few finishing touches still to be made, but when you arrive at 5am on opening day you can't expect it to be perfect."

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