Rio’s Olympic diving pool was closed to training Friday following concerns about the quality of the water.
“Diving pool is closed this morning. Hopefully that means we haven’t been diving in anything too bad the last couple of days,” British diver Tom Daley tweeted Friday morning.
Diving pool is closed this morning. Hopefully that means we haven’t been diving in anything too bad the last couple of days!
— Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) August 12, 2016
The Rio 2016 Twitter account responded to Daley’s tweet, stating that the pool had been closed for training because the water must remain still for the pool to return to its blue colour.
— Rio 2016 (@Rio2016_en) August 12, 2016
In a statement to Global News, organizers confirmed that the pool was closed, but noted that the closure would not affect Friday’s scheduled diving events.
“We confirm that diving training in Maria Lenk Aquactics Centre’s pool is cancelled this morning. FINA is aware and supports our decision,” read the statement.
“Athletes are performing dry training this morning in Maria Lenk. Diving training will resume at 2pm and the preliminaries at 3.30pm.”
Canadian diver Jennifer Abel is set to compete in the women’s three metre springboard preliminary event.
Water quality issues at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre began Tuesday, when the water in the diving tank began turning green. During the women’s 10m synchronized diving final Tuesday – where Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won bronze – the pool appeared to be murky and green.
Experts believe the water discolouration is most likely due to a chlorine imbalance, resulting in the presence of algae. Warmer temperatures and the volume of divers in the pool can also contribute to algae growth.
On Wednesday, FINA said its Sport Medicine Committee conducted tests on the water quality and concluded there was no risk to the health and safety of the athletes.
However, on Thursday, athletes competing in water polo complained the chlorine in the pool was so strong it was burning their eyes.
“I could barely open my eyes for the final quarter,” the Washington Post quoted U.S. men’s water polo captain Tony Azevedo as saying. “This is the Olympic Games and they are putting so much chlorine in the water that people can’t see. You can’t have that.”
On social media, the water quality issues are being mocked under the hashtag #PoolGate.
Photo via @TomDaley1994