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Rio scraps Olympic water polo venue

The Julio Delamare aquatic park has been removed as one of the venues for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A view of the Julio Delamare aquatic park

Rio de Janeiro, May 21 (IANS): A venue scheduled to host water polo at the Rio 2016 Olympics has been dropped from the Games programme.

Located next to the Maracana Stadium here, the Julio Delamare aquatic park had been earmarked for first-phase matches of Olympics. But the government on Wednesday said it could not justify spending $20 million needed to bring the venue up to Olympic standard, reports Xinhua.

"It would be very costly. A refurbishment to serve the local community, which has always been its purpose, should cost half that amount," state government chief of staff Leonardo Espindola said.

The government is yet to decide on a replacement venue. Under consideration are the Olympic park, which will also host diving and swimming, and the Deodoro centre.

Meanwhile, the government moved to allay concerns about pollution at Guanabara bay, the venue for sailing events. An International Sailing Federation official last month warned the bay could be taken off the Games schedule if action wasn't taken to clean its waters.

Espindola said garbage-collection boats would conclude a cleanup of the bay by July, adding that barriers were being built to filter sewage and trash. "There is no chance to change the field of play. Sailing will take place in Guanabara bay."

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