Rio 2016: Olympic Games preparations making 'solid progress' despite thousands of dead fish surfacing in Guanabara Bay

Thousands of dead fish were spotted at Guanabara Bay

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The Independent Online

Rio de Janeiro is still making 'solid progress' in its preparations for the Olympic Games in 2016, according to the International Olympic Committee, despite the discovery of dead fish in Guanabara Bay.

The popular bay is set to be the sailing venue after government officials admitted they would miss their target of an 80% reduction in water pollution by the start of the Games next August.

It is possible the fish could have died because of draught, but officials insist that hitting ambitious water pollution targets is 'not easy'.

The IOC's Coordination Commission visited the host city this week to check up on its progress and reported that venues are taking shape.

The Olympic Stadium under construction in Rio de Janeiro

"It's not easy," said Rio governor Luiz Fernando Pezao. "Every time we have a negotiation, the bidding process [for the project] slows and postpones things."

The most recent IOC inspection took place over a three day period this week with Commission chair Nawal El Moutawakel adding that the two Olympic Parks are "on track to leave fantastic legacies to the people of Rio."

El Moutawakel also suggested that substantial work remains to be done to ready the city for a series of test events this year, in anticipation for next summer's showcase event.

"The Rio team is now entering the most intense phase in the preparation for the Games, as they reach a new level of detail while planning numerous test events," she said.

"The golf course, velodrome and equestrian cross-country venues all have very aggressive timelines that will need to be met over the coming months."