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Belgian sailor Van Ecker taken ill after Rio bay event

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Belgian sailor Evi van Acker has been taken ill with a bacterial infection after competing in Rio de Janeiro‘s polluted Guanabara Bay.

Her coach, Wil Van Bladel, said Thursday the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist had probably picked up the infection during training in the bay last month.

Van Ecker reported feeling unwell after Wednesday‘s races.

Van Bladel told Belgian VRT network: "Doctors say this can seriously disrupt energy levels for three months. It became clear yesterday that she lacked energy during tough conditions."

He added that "the likelihood that she caught it here during contact with the water is very big."

Van Ecker is the first competitor to fall ill after racing in the bay amid concerns ahead of the Games about the levels of pollution.

A World Sailing federation spokesman said it appeared to be an isolated case and that Van Acker was the only sailor who had reported feeling ill in the opening days of the sailing.

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