THE Perlis Malaysia Games swimming competition will continue as scheduled over the next three days but will remain roofless until the end of the tournament at the very least.
The recently completed Aquatics Centre in Kangar threw a major spanner in the works yesterday when the swimming pool’s canvas roof came down at 2pm.
Roughly 10 minutes of heavy rain had seen a considerable amount of water accumulating on the roof, subsequently tearing it and bringing in down on the swimming pool. It continued to further tear after being blown by strong winds.
The men’s 10m platform synchronised diving event being held on the adjacent diving pool was stopped but resumed within 10 minutes of the incident. The diving section roof, which is separated from the swimming pool roof and is held by more braces, was not affected.
Contractors took down the roof and the swimming competition started as scheduled at 4.30pm.
Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia secretary Edwin Chong said competing without the roof was not out of the norm in the sport.
“The Cheras Pool (Kuala Lumpur Aquatics Complex) has no roof and has hosted the Sea Games while the diving competition at the Barcelona World Championships was also the same.
“Indoor or outdoors it does not matter. As long as the pool meets the required specifications, it is fine to go on with the event.”
National Sports Council director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong was visibly disappointed with the incident but echoed Edwin’s sentiments.
He, however, added that it is up to the state government to decide whether it wants to take action against the contractor.
“I came here this morning (yesterday) and everything was fine. I was really happy about that but now this happens,” said Zolkples.
“The technical committee has given the clearance to compete without a roof and I believe all the events will go on as scheduled.”
The main contractor of the complex, Lima Corporation Sdn Bhd blamed a sub-contractor for supplying a faulty product. Operations director Hishamuddin Abdul Hamid said they had obtained a letter of guarantee from the contractor that the material and structure were safe to be used.
The complex had only been given clearance to host the event by the state Public Works Department (JKR) and ASUM yesterday morning.
The late completion of the complex had forced organisers to delay the swimming and diving events by a day. The aquatics competition was initially scheduled to start on Wednesday.