KANGAR: As of 6pm Wednesday, the State Aquatic Centre in Perlis looked to finally be shaping up – at least aesthetically.
With the aquatics competition of the 17th Malaysia Games (Sukma) scheduled to begin at 8.30am on Thursday, the last push was made on Wednesday to get the venue cleaned up and competition-ready.
However, just Wednesday morning, 24 hours before competition, it looked like a lost cause. There was still further construction work being done as the length of the 3m platform had to be reduced by 1m using cement breakers after it was found to overlap the 10m platform and not to FINA (International Swimming Federation) specifications.
Main contractors Lima Corporation’s operations director Hishamuddin Abdul Hamid said that they had brought in six cement breakers and started work on the platform at 2pm on Tuesday with work going on through Wednesday.
|Divers fishing out debris from the State Aquatic Centre in Perlis, a day before the Sukma events were due to start.|
Nine divers from the state fire department were also called in to help find and remove debris from the diving pool. Among the items fished out were a pair of sunglasses, a wallet and two international passports.
The Johor swim team managed to squeeze in a training session at the centre at 5.30pm for an hour. However, head coach Jefferey Tan was still not 100% satisfied with the venue.
“My biggest worry is the structure. I hope everything goes smoothly and nothing untoward happens. I hope that it holds up in years to come, because it was such a rush job,” said Jefferey on Wednesday.
“There is also the problem of moths ... I don’t know how that’s going to be at night. So far, the only complaints I have received from my swimmers is that the water is murky. Hopefully, it clears up by tomorrow.
“But I still think some things are not up to par. We only have four shower rooms, and the doping room is too small. So, I don’t know how smoothly things will run, but we’ll see,” he added.