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International Olympic Committee grills organizers on traffic, water

Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Worried IOC members are grilling the Rio de Janeiro Games organizers about traffic jams, water pollution, security and the absence of signage to give the games its own distinct look.

International Olympic President Thomas Bach also turned up the pressure Wednesday by telling organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman and CEO Sidney Levy: “It’s delivery time. Here we go. Now it really starts.”

Nuzman and Levy tried to be reassuring but acknowledged it had been “very difficult” to prepare South America’s first games, which have been plagued by slow ticket sales and worries over the Zika virus, crime and security, and costs.

Away from the games, Brazil is in is deepest recession since the 1930s. And President Dilma Rousseff is facing an impeachment trial after the games end.

Expecting clearance
Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov says he expects “between 272 and 280” Russian athletes to be cleared to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Zhukov says he expects a ruling later Wednesday from the IOC on which athletes have been approved. The IOC asked the international sports federations to decide which Russian athletes could compete following the scandal over state-sponsored doping.

A three-person IOC panel has the final say on the Russian entries.

Asked how many athletes he expected to compete in Rio, Zhukov says: “I think between 272 and 280.”

Fast start
The Canadian women’s soccer team took only 20 seconds to make a mark on the Rio de Janeiro Games by scoring the fastest goal ever at the Olympics.

Janine Beckie’s record-breaking goal in Canada’s 2-0 victory over Australia on Wednesday was nine seconds faster than Oribe Peralta’s strike for Mexico in the men’s gold medal match against Brazil four years ago in London.

In Sao Paolo, Canada had to cope from the 19th minute with only 10 women after Shelina Zadorsky was sent off for dragging down Michelle Heyman on her way to goal.

But Canada still prevented Australia from equalizing and captain Christine Sinclair added a second in the 78th.

In the way
Brazilian riot police have used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters in the path of the Olympic torch relay north of Rio de Janeiro. The military police have not responded to immediate requests for information.

Hundreds of people were protesting in the neighboring municipality of Duque de Caxias against salary delays of public workers in Rio state. A video shared on social media show people protesting and being hit by tear gas or shrapnel before the torch convoy drove by.