Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

OLYMPICS ROUNDUP ; Gray Skies and Green Water at Rio Games

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

OLYMPICS ROUNDUP ; Gray Skies and Green Water at Rio Games

Article excerpt

RIO DE JANEIRO - Skies and pools both darkened Wednesday as the sun-splashed Olympics in Rio de Janeiro gave way to gray clouds and murky green waters. The Rio Games were drenched in rain and continued questions about why the diving well and water polo pools look so much like neglected aquariums.

The U.S. men's basketball team got its first good test in fending off Australia 98-88 behind Carmelo Anthony's 31 points. Anthony hit a flurry of 3s after the Americans, who barely broke a sweat in their first two games, trailed early in the fourth quarter.

The third day of the men's water polo tournament began in green- tinged water, though not nearly as dark as the neighboring diving pool at the aquatics center. It was crystal blue the day before.

Water quality has been a major issue surrounding the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but in the ocean and lagoons, not pools.

A decrease in the alkaline level in the diving well Tuesday afternoon led to the green color, organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said. He added that the pool for water polo and synchronized swimming is being affected in the same way but "we expect the color to be back to blue very shortly.

A U.S. pool expert said that might not be so easy: "Once you get behind, it gets hard to get back in front of it, said Jerry Wallace, chairman of the California Pool & Spa Association, a trade group.

Rio organizers insisted the athletes weren't at risk in the green pools.

They were on the waters and slippery roadways, though.

Strong winds rattled palm trees along the coast and whipped up waves on the scenic lagoon where rowing was postponed for a full day for the second time this week. With winds too blustery, rowers packed up their oars for the day as cyclists hit slick roads on skinny time-trial bikes unsuited to harsh weather conditions.

Under dark skies, the cyclists faced lashing rain and wind on the time-trial course along Rio's southern coast. The conditions might have cost Ellen van Dijk of the Netherlands a medal. She slid off the road and got tangled in weeds before finishing fourth.

American Kristin Armstrong won the race. …

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