By Tom Degun

Minas Tenis ClubeDecember 20 - The British Olympic Association (BOA) have secured their preparation camp for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Minas Tenis Clube (MTC) in the city of Belo Horizonte.

The BOA today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with the MTC (pictured top) for Team GB athletes to train there prior to the start of the Olympics to help them adapt to the conditions and climate in Brazil.

Belo Horizonte is located in the state of Minas Gerais in South East Brazil while it is a short 45 minute flight away from Rio.

It is the third largest city in Brazil with a metropolitan population of 5.5million people while it is set to host matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The MTC in Belo Horizonte was chosen by the leadership of BOA from a shortlist of potential preparation camp locations both in Brazil and among other South American countries following an extensive search process that involved team leaders from the sports of aquatics, basketball, boxing, fencing, gymnastics, hockey and rowing.

"Getting your pre-Games training and preparation environment right is absolutely essential to the success of an Olympic team on foreign soil," said BOA chief executive Andy Hunt.

"We were very impressed with the breadth of world class sporting facilities available at the Minas Tenis Clube and equally pleased with the professionalism, friendship and warm welcome we received.

"We understand that for some sports the priority will be the final stages of training and fine-tuning their performance needs, while for others the focus will be on acclimatisation and gaining sufficient rest and relaxation immediately prior to the Games."

belo horizonte 01Belo Horizonte is the third largest city in Brazil and will host matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Alongside the pre-Games training elements the MoU also includes a commitment to create exchange programmes and share expertise and knowledge in the areas of sports science and medicine, education and training, marketing, media and commercial fields

The BOA will also work to facilitate the establishment of strategic partnerships between the MTC and Olympic sport national governing bodies and clubs in the UK.

"The Minas Tênis Clube is honored to have been selected by the British Olympic Association to be the basis of the activities of preparing their delegation in Brazil for the Rio Olympics 2016," said MTC President Sergio Bruno Zech Coelho.

"Great Britain and Northern Ireland today stand among the leaders in the international Olympic stage.

"Therefore we see in this relationship a lot of opportunities which will boost the development of sports activities in Minas Tênis Clube."

The facilities at the MTC include numerous indoor sports halls and gymnasiums and the swimming pool used to host the 2008 FINA World Cup.

It also includes the Lagoa dos Ingleses (Englishman's Lake) which has the potential to be utilised for training in sports such as rowing, canoeing and triathlon.

The MTC regularly hosts domestic and international competition in Olympic sports such as judo and volleyball while it was responsible for producing five of Brazil's 17 medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

It is still unclear whether the Team GB athletics and cycling squads will train at the MTC or stage separate preparations camps as both sports did in the lead up to London 2012.

UK Athletics and British Cycling have both confirmed to insidethegames that their preparation camp plans are still under consideration while the BOA revealed discussions are on-going.

"We continue to consult with all NGBs (national governing bodies) on each sport's preparation strategy for the Rio 2016 Games," a BOA spokesperson told insidethegames.

"Discussions with athletics and cycling are on-going."

The BOA previously hosted successful summer Games preparation camps in Macau prior to Beijing 2008, in Cyprus ahead of Athens 2004 and on the Gold Coast before Sydney 2000.

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