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Sailors test polluted waters at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic site

2016 Summer Olympics
Organizers of 2016 Rio Olympics have first major test event at venue where water pollution has been a concern

The organizers of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro concluded their first major test event over the weekend, holding a world-class regatta at a venue where water pollution has been of significant concern.

More than 300 sailors from 35 countries raced on Guanabara Bay, competing in 10 Olympic classes.

"The first test event comes to a close with a sense of mission accomplished,” Rodrigo Garcia, the organizing committee's sports director, said in a statement. “This has been a wonderful experience and a successful event, but most importantly we have learned a lot.”

The statement included no mention of pollution. Brazilian officials had previously conceded that they would not be able to make good on their promise to reduce the flow of pollution into the trash-strewn bay by 80% for the Games.

While some sailors grumbled during last week's event, others expressed satisfaction.

"Conditions throughout the week were extremely positive,” Giles Scott of Britain said in the statement. “We had at least 10 knots of wind every day which was great, especially because we were prepared for much less.”

Rio will host 45 test events in various sports as the Games approach.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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