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FINA president says Rio's pool issues won't happen again in Tokyo

Rio officials blamed a contractor mistake -- dumping hydrogen peroxide into the pool that caused an adverse reaction when it mixed with chlorine -- for venue pools turning green during the 2016 Summer Olympics. EPA/Larry W Smith

Green water in pools is something you won't see at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, says a top official.

During this past summer's Rio Olympics, officials gave up on cleaning a green-tinged water in one of the pools at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center, so they drained and transferred almost 1 million gallons of clear water from a nearby practice pool in time for the start of synchronized swimming events. An adjacent, smaller pool continued to be used for diving competitions, even though it remained murky. American diver Abby Johnston dubbed it "the swamp."

But on Monday, FINA president Julio Cesar Maglione told Kyodo news agency that will not happen again in Tokyo, host of the next Summer Games.

"I visited the place where they are beginning to build the new swimming pool and... it will have all the requirements for an excellent championship because the last condition in Rio was different," Maglione told Kyodo. "We are sure that it will be fine here."

Back in August, Rio officials blamed a contractor mistake -- dumping hydrogen peroxide into the pool that caused an adverse reaction when it mixed with chlorine -- for venue pools turning green during the Olympics. Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada called the pool draining a "radical measure" that was necessary to ensure clear water for both judges and competitors and stressed that the kale-colored water posed no risk to the health of the athletes.

"Of course it is an embarrassment because we are hosting the Olympic Games," Andrada then said. "It should be light blue, transparent. We could have done better in fixing it quickly. We learned a painful lesson the hard way."

Tokyo's pool venue is being built near the existing Tatsumi International Swimming Center, but there is debate over whether it should hold a 15,000- or 20,000-seat capacity.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.