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SIDEBAR The green diving pool: Don't worry, say Olympic organizers

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Athletes, fans in attendance, and people around the world watching their colour TVs couldn‘t quite believe their eyes when, on Tuesday, the water of the pool for divers had turned green.

Organizers tried quickly Wednesday to assure everyone that the water‘s just fine - health-wise - but admitted they did not know what happened or what caused it.

The images were all the more jarring since the swimming events pool was the usual clear-blue colour.

In a tweet, the Olympic organisers advised: "Everyone stay calm because of the water at the Maria Lenk (Aquatics Center). We are undertaking quality tests and there is no risk to the athletes."

Meanwhile, Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Olympic organizing committee, admitted, "we don‘t know exactly what happened. We test the water every day with the same parametres and the results were exactly the same as with the blue pool."

But then, when the head of the Canadian team, Mitch Geller, had his own theory, suspecting that algae were to blame, Andrada confirmed the possibility. "This (algae) along with the heat and too little wind," he said.

Testing of the water quality in the diving pool had shown that there was no danger to the athletes from the green water, Andrade stressed.

Diving event experts noted however a potential risk to competitors if the water is not transparent. Particular the high platform divers needed a clear view of the bottom of the pool.

Divers themselves were somewhat perplexed, and amused. British platform diver Tom Daley tweeted: "Ermmm...what happened?!"

Ruolin Chen, the Chinese diver who won the synchronised 10m platform diving gold with Huixia Liu, said they had not been negatively influenced by the different colour.

Mexican synchronised divers Paola Espinosa and Alejandr Orozco, who finished sixth, took the new colour in stride. "I haven‘t seen anything like it," Espinosa said. "But, we‘re in Brazil. Maybe it was a kind of decoration to make it all look pretty."

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