Ockert de Villiers
A DISCOLOURED pool affected world championship qualifying times on the first day of national swimming championships in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
A pump burst at the Newton Park swimming pool on Sunday, causing the usually clear water to turn grass green. The poor visibility could yet force the event to be postponed.
The burst pump allowed excessive dust to get into the system, and although it was speedily repaired, the water was still green last night.
A Swimming SA (SSA) official said delaying the event “slightly” could be considered if the pool had not improved by early today.
“We’ll assess it in the morning,” chief executive Shaun Adriaanse said at the event, which also serves as trials for the world championships in Barcelona later this year.
Earlier yesterday, the murky water looked to be clearing, but by evening it seemed to get worse.
Coupled with the overhead lighting, conditions made it difficult for swimmers to see under water.
Adriaanse said SSA was liaising with the municipality.
Four-time Olympian Roland Schoeman accepted the broken pump was an “unfortunate accident”, but added that the malfunction had profound effects on swimmers.
“We are expected to perform like the Australians and the Americans but we don’t have conditions like they do, so how can we really be compared to the world if we are not in the same condition,” he said. – Sapa