Games pool floor defective, but legal

CHRIS BARRETT, PHIL LUTTON AND STATHI PAXINOS
Last updated 10:38 28/07/2014
Sophie Pascoe
Getty Images

KIWI SWIMMER: Sophie Pascoe hangs in the pool after her gold medal swim in the women's 100m breaststroke SB9.

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Commonwealth Games and FINA officials insist records set in the Glasgow pool will stand despite revelations that a technical hitch has left the floor stuck in an uneven position.

The Tollcross pool has a moveable floor that allows the depths to be changed. But the floor became stuck fast the day before competition began on Friday and can't be fixed until the completion of the swimming programme for fear of rendering it unusable.

Because of the defect, the pool depth wouldn't be legal at a world championships or Olympic Games, which require a minimum depth of two metres for the entire 50m. But FINA, swimming's governing body, only required a depth of 1.35m for other competitions, including the Commonwealth Games.

As it stood, the pool was currently 2m deep at the start, before sloping upwards to 1.88m at the 12m mark, at which point it dropped off rapidly back down to 2m. The dip was clearly visible from the stands.

Glasgow 2014 spokesperson Jackie Brock-Doyle confirmed overnight there was an issue with the pool floor, but was adamant it complied with regulations and no records would be called into question. Organisers have been in deep discussions with FINA technical delegate and vice-president Sam Ramsamy, who is in Glasgow.

"It's fully compliant. We've discussed it with the FINA technical delegate. It's fully compliant with FINA rules for the Commonwealth Games," Brock-Doyle said.

"There will be no impact on the competitors and records set here."

There have been a host of Games records and one able-bodied world record for the Australian women's 4 x 100m women's relay team, who broke a five-year-old supersuit mark on the first night of competition.

It appeared that mark would stand but the situation was hardly ideal for a major international event, which has featured some of the best swimmers on the planet.

The floor was installed by Dutch company Variopool, which was alerted to the issue the day before competition. But the piston-system that drove the floating floor has become stuck and engineers were loathed to move it during competition in case it ended up in a position that contravened FINA regulations.

It's understood pool management regarded the situation as less than ideal but had little choice but to wait until the end of competition before trying to fix the problem.

A number of swimmers have noticed the issue, which has also caused some technical issues for the underwater camera.

Trinidad and Tobago veteran George Bovell, who has swum in the past three Olympic Games, said he had noticed the drop-off. But the swimmers had not received any official notification or warning about it, he said.

"I saw it. I think it's more about the competition here and everyone's facing the same factors."

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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