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Rio 2016 looking for new water polo venue

Organisers of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are seeking a new venue for the water polo competition after it was confirmed that planned renovation work on the Julio Delamare aquatic park would not be completed in time.

Earlier this week, Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada confirmed that alternative venues were being considered due to a failure to begin refurbishments at the planned location, which sits alongside the iconic Maracana football stadium.

Andrada expected a decision to be made “in the next few weeks” but state government chief of staff Leonardo Espindola has ruled out the redevelopment on the grounds of projected costs amounting to $20m (€17.6m).

“It would be very costly,” Espindola said. “A refurbishment to serve the local community, which has always been its purpose, should cost half that amount.”

A replacement venue is yet to be decided upon, although the main swimming centre at the Olympic Park and the Maria Lenk Centre – built for the 2007 Pan American Games and slated to host Olympic diving – are among those under consideration.

Meanwhile Espindola maintained that Olympic sailing events will be staged at Guanabara Bay despite sustained controversy and concern regarding its pollution levels.

He added: “There is no chance to change the field of play. Sailing will take place in Guanabara Bay.”