Along with the recent concerns surrounding the Zika virus outbreak in the areas in and around Rio less than 200 days out from the 2016 Olympic Games, aquatic athletes in particular may need to deal with another hurdle while preparing for the world’s largest international sporting event.
According to a report published in The Washington Post, Rio organizers and officials are preparing contingency plans in the event the primary swimming venue, the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, is not ready for the upcoming test event, the Maria Lenk Open Championships.
Not only does the Maria Lenk Championship meet, slated for April 15th to the 20th, serve as the Olympics test event, but the competition is also the 2nd of two opportunities for Brazilian swimmers to qualify for their nation’s Olympic roster.
Of the Olympic venue, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu states, “there are still a lot of things to do. “We need to install an artificial ventilation system for the pool deck to make sure there is enough air circulation, that it’s not too hot or cold.”
Even with this apprehension about the April event, Marculescu said the pool would be ready by the time the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Games comes on August 5th. “We are now at the stage to do the best with what we have. I have no doubt we will have great Olympics here,” said Marculescu.
Of the fact that the pool’s seating of 12,000 being notably less than London’s 17,500 capacity, Marculescu said, “Each federation wants to have the best conditions possible. We’re not anymore in a position to complain that we don’t have this, we don’t have that,”
Marculescu’s statements align with those he opined last month in an interview with site Around the Rings. Overall, Marculescu said he is “not worried” about the competition in Rio. “Now is not the time to complain,” he says. “Now is the time to do as much as we can in the existing conditions to achieve the best possible event.”