Rio cancels swimming event over lack of funding
ROME (AP) A World Cup swimming event scheduled for Rio de Janeiro next month has been canceled after organizers failed to come up with enough funding.
The announcement comes at a particularly delicate moment, with Rio competing against Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo in Friday’s vote to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
”There are no financial resources. They cannot find any funding. They say they cannot do it,” Cornel Marculescu, the executive director of swimming governing body FINA, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The World Cup page on FINA’s Web site has a line crossing out the Rio meet, with the word ”canceled” printed twice.
Marculescu said Rio informed FINA of the decision ”two or three weeks ago,” adding that the Brazilian city has also pulled out of hosting World Cup events from 2010-13.
Marculescu refused to speculate if the cancellations would have any effect on the IOC vote.
”I only know about my own sport, and there will be no World Cup in Rio for the next four years,” he said. ”The Olympic Games is a different budget. Rio’s proposals for aquatics venues are very good.”
The move is also surprising because of interest generated after Cesar Cielo swept the 50 and 100-meter freestyle events in Rome a few months ago for Brazil’s first gold medals in 27 years at a swimming world championship.
Belo Horizonte has hosted a World Cup event for the last several years, but the Brazilian federation wanted to move the meet to Rio to attract a better international field.
”Belo Horizonte is difficult to get to,” Marculescu noted. ”You have to change planes in Rio or Sao Paulo.”
Without Rio, only five World Cup events will be held this year in Durban, South Africa; Moscow, Stockholm, Berlin and Singapore.
From 2010-2013 there will be seven short-course meets in Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Dubai and Singapore; and at sites to be determined in China and Japan.