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German canoeist Tasiadis heaps praise on Olympic accommodation

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - Germany‘s slalom canoeist Sideris Tasiadis has praised the athletes‘ village at the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games amid concerns it was not fit for purpose.

"The rooms are fine," the runner-up from London 2012 told the Bild newspaper Tuesday. "Really great."

Australian Olympic officials had previously prevented their athletes from moving into the official accommodation, citing blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring among the many problems.

But the South African delegation also praised the village, saying in a statement late Monday: "Contrary to various media reports that the village is ‘unliveable‘, Team South Africa‘s apartment block is excellent accommodation."

An extra group of more than 500 workers and cleaners, in action round the clock, had been employed to make improvements, much to the relief of Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller.

"There has been enormous progress made in the last 24 hours," Chiller said, with Australian athletes now hoping to move into the village on Wednesday.

Some 18,000 athletes, coaches and officials from around the world will live in 3,604 apartments in 31 buildings, looked after by 13,000 employees and volunteers.

The village boasts a large dining and kitchen area for up to 5,000 people, a state-of-the-art gym, a clinic, a recreation area, a beauty salon, a multi-faith religious centre and seven laundries.

Planned and built by an investor and a construction company, the apartments are to be sold to wealthy residents after the August 5-21 Games.

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