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1ST LEAD Problematic Rio diving pool briefly closed for cleaning By Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl, dpa

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - A diving pool that has been giving organizers at the Rio Olympics a headache for days because of its unusual green colour was briefly shut down Friday, with organizers saying that this would allow it to be cleaned more quickly.

"This morning, a training session was cancelled because we need to have the water still so we can clean it faster and easier," Rio 2016 organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada told journalists in the Brazilian city.

"We reiterate what we‘ve been saying all along: the water doesn‘t offer any threat to the health of the athletes," he added. "Health specialists from Rio 2016, from the International Olympic Committee, from the federation are on top of this issue."

The strange green colour of the open-air pool and an adjoining water polo pool have been making headlines for days.

Treatment problems have been blamed, with FINA - the ruling body for water sports - saying that water tanks had ran out of some chemicals, leading the pH level of the water to be outside the usual range.

German diver Stephan Feck on Friday morning also reported a bad odour at the competition site.

Feck posted on his Facebook account a photo of himself near the pool, holding his nose shut, with the caption: "The moment you want to do some workout and the pool is closed. The whole venue smells like somebody has fart[ed]."

But the pool was back open by the afternoon for a preliminary round in the women‘s 3-metre springboard competition and appeared to have lost some of the green colouring.

Andrada said athletes had access to a "dry facility" in the morning so they could train.

"[This was] not ideal, but we believe that fixing the water and making it look the way it should was a priority in this case," he added.

Water polo players had complained on Wednesday about their eyes stinging while they were competing in their pool, which had also taken on a green tinge.

Andrada attributed this to the fact that more chlorine had initially been used in that pool when the water started changing colour.

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