KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Judges were forced to wear rain jackets and hold umbrellas and an underwater speaker broke during Russia’s gold-medal winning routine as bad weather and technical problems disrupted the synchronised swimming at the world championships on Saturday.
Temporary stands holding around 12,000 people and two pools have been built inside the impressive Kazan Arena football stadium.
Heavy rain leaked through the temporary roof into the arena, however, during the final of the women’s free combination and half of the 14 judges bore the brunt of the inclement weather.
Midway through an energetic final, seven of the officials judging the 12 competitors on one side of the pool deck were handed rain jackets and black umbrellas.
“You could call it a little comical," Claudia Holzner, a Canadian team member, told Reuters.
“It has been a bit different with a makeshift roof and it has been colder than usual.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s Aleksandra Patskevich was “left in shock” after the underwater speaker broke during the combined team of 10’s performance in the pool.
“We could hear only some crackling and not the music,” she said.
“The weather did not bother us, though it was quite cold while waiting for the start. We were confused at the beginning due to the technical problems. We could not understand what had happened."
Russia's superb routine scored 98.30 points to delight the near-capacity crowd.
(Refiles to fix day in first paragraph)
Editing by Toby Davis