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Open Water World Cup swimming race cancelled due to poor water quality in Seine River, Paris

  • Open Water World Cup swimming race cancelled due to poor water quality in Seine River, Paris

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On Sunday the organisers of the Open Water Swimming World Cup in Paris had to cancel the sporting event due to poor water quality in the Seine River, reports Reuters. After heavy rainfall, water quality was not suitable according to health standards.

Gilles Sezionale, head of the French Swimming Federation, expressed his disappointment on local radio: "First and foremost disappointed for the athletes, who were dreaming of competing in one of the most beautiful locations in the world".

On Friday morning, poor water quality also prevented participants from training. On Saturday, the women’s 10 km race was postponed, and finally cancelled on Sunday together with the men’s race.

Paris announced the River Seine will be open for swimming competitions in time for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games. World Aquatics, the global swimming federation, has called for back-up plans to be in place for that: "It's obvious that extra work is required with Paris 2024 and local authorities to guarantee solid emergency plans are set up for next year".

Meanwhile, the Olympics committee said the infrastructure necessary would be in place by summer 2024 to ensure high enough water quality to make the Seine swimmable. The plans include an underground basin to store run-off in times of heavy rain, at a cost of 80 billion euros.

A Paris 2024 triathlon test event is scheduled next August 17-20, with swimming to take place in the Seine as well. In the case that water quality does not meet the standards of World Triathlon and public health authorities, the contingency plan is to change the race to a duathlon format.

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