In a follow-up to the news we reported in September regarding FINA’s lash-out at Rio organizers regarding substandard aquatic conditions at the competitive swimming, water polo and open water venues slated for the 2016 Olympic Games, it appears now that some progress has been made in addressing FINA’s concerns.
In a letter submitted to Rio organizers in mid-September, FINA identified potential health risks associated with the open water events, while also criticizing Rio organizers for its disrespect for the aquatic events. Whereas the London Olympic Games’ main pool had seating for 17,500 spectators, the venue in Rio will house approximately 12,500 to 13,000 people, which FINA said diminishes the swimming events in terms of “importance and value.” Further, FINA indicated that the open water conditions were “seriously damaging to the image and value of FINA.”
However, according to Rio 2016 Committee spokesman Mario Andrada, at present, his team’s talks with FINA regarding these issues are entering a “very constructive phase” and that “ in a couple of weeks we are going to find a solution”, although no details are being released at this time.
“We still have a lot to respond and to dialogue with FINA because we need to make sure we have water polo in the proper space and they are happy,” Andrada said.
Regarding water quality for open water swimmers, windsurfers and sailors in Guanabara Bay, Andrada also reiterated that the water is clean according to international parameters. He stated once again that Rio organizers are committed to World Health Organization (WHO) standard protocol. WHO’s sanitation protocol includes “classifying water quality through a regular and ongoing programme of microbial water quality testing, using enterococci and E.coli and sanitary inspection to identify health risks to bathers from pollution of bathing waters.”