#rio – An Irish Olympic sailing coach has slammed the future Olympic waters of Rio as 'disgusting', according to the Belfast Telegraph. Ian Barker, who won a silver medal for Britain in the Sydney 2000 Olympics' 49er class and now coaches Ireland, said it was the worst he had seen after sailing in 35 countries.
Sailors have expressed disgust at the filthy state of the Brazilian waters in which they will race at the 2016 Olympics, with a former British star describing it as a "sewer".
Barker was coach to Ireland's Tom Fitzpatrick and Frazer Brown in Athens 2004 and more recently to London 2012's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern.
He said sailors in training had to stop to disentangle their rudders from rubbish.
"It's a sewer," he told the Telegraph. "It's absolutely disgusting. Something has to be done about it. But you need the political will for these things to happen and at the moment it's not there."
"I've been sailing all over the world for 20 years now, and this is the most polluted place I've ever been," said Allan Norregaard, a Danish bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympics.
"It's really a shame because it's a beautiful area and city, but the water is so polluted, so dirty and full of garbage."
The Belfast Telegraph has much more on the story including photos of the pollution here.