Rio 2016 Olympics accidents: Obstacle in Guanabara Bay causes Kazakhstan rower to slide off boat into slimy & poop-filled water

By @vitthernandez on
Vladislav Yakovlev
2016 Rio Olympics - Rowing - Repechage - Men's Single Sculls Repechages - Lagoa Stadium - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - 08/08/2016. Vladislav Yakovlev (KAZ) of Kazakhstan after capsizing. Reuters/Carlos Barri

The list of accidents involving athletes in the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympics is growing longer as the competition gets tougher. Besides a French gymnast who broke his leg and a Dutch cyclist who fell from her bike, added to the list is a Kazakhstan rower who fell on Monday into the poop-filled Guanabara Bay.

Vladislav Yakovlev, the unfortunate rower, was 10 strokes only into the single skulls repechage race when his boat hit an unknown obstacle, causing him to slide off the boat into the murky water. The 23-year-old athlete, who was just a few feet from the start line, was able to climb back into his boat but it dashed his hope of getting any medal, reports New York Post.

On Sunday, two Serbian rowers – Nenad Bedik and Milos Vasic – made Olympic record, not by establishing new times but by becoming the first capsize victims of the summer games.

Guanabara Bay's filth comes from a giant pipe that runs from downtown dumping waste into the bay’s marina. As a result, rats swim into the water filled with faeces, while the smell makes athletes and other users of the bay vomit or faint, reports USA Today.

Guanabara Bay Garbage floats at the surface in the notoriously dirty Guanabara Bay, ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 29, 2016.  Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

In 2015, ahead of the games, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes admitted the host city’s failure to get rid of the bay’s pollution. The initial plan was to start in 2009 removing and treating 80 percent of the sewage by 2016.

However, Christopher Dubi, executive director of the Rio Games’ International Olympic Committee, insists there was improvement from before 2009 with barriers, boats and pipes placed around Guanabara. But he admits Rio failed to meet the 80 percent treatment target.

The Serbian rowers fell into the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas which Matt Smith, executive director of the International Rowing Federation, says is swimming and nearly drinking water quality, reports Gizmodo.

VIDEO: Moment Kazakh rower capsizes near start of Olympic race

Source: sports channel 1