Pool clear for swimming again

2013-04-18 16:38

The Newton Park swimming pool in Port Elizabeth was approaching a quality acceptable for the SA Swimming Championships to resume.

Two days of the six-day gala, which also serves as the trials for this year’s Fina World Championships, have been cancelled because of the poor quality of the water.

By this morning, the lines painted on the bottom of the pool were clearly visible and the clarity of the water was vastly improved from the first day of swimming on Monday.

Most of the sediment, which had made the water look green, had been swept up, and other measures had also been taken to ensure the water was crystal clear by 5pm on Thursday, when racing was due to start.

There would be only one round in each discipline on the programme, with swimmers competing in timed finals instead of heats, semifinals, and finals.

The water temperature had also dropped since work started on the pool, but a staff member at the pool said it was close to 24.8°C, only about a degree from the required warmth.

The two wasted days had caused some consternation for some swimmers and parents, who had to postpone their flights and scramble to find alternative accommodation.

Finding accommodation was complicated by the Super Rugby match taking place between the Bulls and the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Swimming SA (SSA) CEO Shaun Adriaanse said the federation had event coverage insurance and would look at reasonable claims resulting from the delays.

“We have insurance, which should hopefully be applicable to all of our members affected by this,” Adriaanse said.

While the readjusted programme created problems for swimmers to qualify for the world championships in Barcelona in July, the selection criteria could be amended and times as far back as the Olympics could be considered.

So far, only Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh has qualified for the world championships, in a time of one minute, 00.71 seconds (1:00.71).

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