Kazakhstan’s Vladislav Yakovlev ended up in the water during his Men’s single sculls repechage race on Monday, in the second incident of a boat capsizing, just days into the 2016 Olympics.
Weather problems in Rio have disrupted the rowing schedule, with a full day’s competition cancelled on Sunday due to unsafe conditions. The forecast predicts worse to come.
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However, it is not thought that Yakovlev’s accident was weather-related, with skies overcast but much calmer conditions than on previous days at the Lagoa venue.Yakovlev lost balance and went overboard just seconds into his race, managing just 10 strokes before falling into the water. It is believed to be the fastest capsize in Olympic history, but the cause of his mishap isn’t immediately clear.
The accident comes on the first day of rowing action since Serbian pair Milos Vasic and Nenad Bedik capsized on Saturday, with the choice of venue coming in for criticism as a result.Five-time gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave has been among those to voice concerns, while one of Team GB’s big medal hopes in the rowing, Katherine Grainger, called these the worst Olympic conditions she has faced.
Redgrave told the BBC: “The Olympic Games isn’t chosen on its rowing course. It would very unlikely that FISA – rowing’s governing body – would have chosen this.We have to make do in some ways. That’s the situation for our showpiece event every four years.
“But outdoor sports are affected by the weather – we have to deal with it. And safety comes first. Fairness comes after that. It’s unrowable.
“In Athens in 1896, the whole rowing programme was cancelled. But that would be a disaster.”