Rio Olympics: Starting platform for open-water swimming competition collapses

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Rio de Janeiro, Aug 14 (IANS) The diving platform that should have been the starting point of the Olympic open-water swimming competition has sunk into the sea and an urgent meeting has been called to see what changes must be made so this Olympic sport can go forward.

It is scheduled for Aug. 15 and among the competitors is Spain’s Erika Villaecija.

Kiko Hervas, head of the Spanish open-water team, told Efe on Saturday after observing the situation on Copacabana beach where the swimming match was to take place, that they are waiting to see how the Olympic Games Organising Committee will deal with this setback.

According to Hervas, the tide knocked the platform down and they hope that all will be remedied as soon as possible.

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A powerful tide destroyed the immense cement structure on the shoreline, a misfortune the organisation is trying to remedy and which could mean that a new starting point for the sport will have to be arranged.

All Saturday morning, Olympic Games employees with special boats have been trying to remove the cement structure from the shore while bathers look on comfortably from their places on the sand.

Erika Villaecija, who planned to get in some training this morning in the area, told Efe that she was switching from the sea to a swimming pool to train this Saturday.



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