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FINA to turn up the heat

2013-07-16 23:07
FINA (File)
Barcelona - Swimming's governing body is preparing to set a fixed maximum water temperature of 31 degrees Celsius for open water events.

Previously there had only been a suggested limit of 30 degrees Celsius, which came under scrutiny after American swimmer Fran Crippen died during a sweltering 10km race in the United Arab Emirates in October 2010.

FINA's technical open water swimming committee recommended the new limit Tuesday following a study by the University of Otago in New Zealand, in collaboration with the IOC and the International Triathlon Union.

"They told us 31 and that's what we decided on," FINA executive director Cornel Marcluscu said.

The limit is expected to be approved Wednesday in a vote by a FINA congress that is open to two delegates from each of the 203 recognized national swimming federations.

USA Swimming has set a domestic limit of 29.45 Celsius and it remains to be seen if the Americans will be satisfied with the FINA rule.

A USA Swimming spokeswoman said she was formulating a response after a request for comment.

"It's not a matter of being happy or not happy," Marculescu said. "It was a scientific study and that's what we are following."

FINA's minimum temperature of 16 Celsius remains in place.

The world championships open in Barcelona on Saturday with the men's and women's 5km open water events in the city's harbour, just like at the 2003 worlds in Barcelona.

"They have already tested the quality of the water and it is fantastic in the harbour," Marculescu said.

More events such as the 10km, 25km and team event will follow.

Hot water was also an issue at the last worlds in Shanghai two years ago, when the 25km race continued even though the water temperature climbed above the supposed safe point.

Ten of the 29 men who started the race dropped out, including defending champion Valerio Cleri of Italy, as did four of the 21 female starters.

Read more on:    fina  |  swimming

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