Concerns over water as Games swimmers laid low

England's chef de mission Craig Hunter confirmed that assurances over the water quality in the Commonwealth Games pool had been sought following a number of stomach bugs among competitors.

A Commonwealth Games England statement revealed that the Delhi 2010 organising committee had responded swiftly to provide those assurances.

Up to 20 per cent of English swimmers out of a squad of 45, including Fran Halsall and Rebecca Adlington, have been struggling with 'Delhi belly' and up to 40 Home Nations swimmers are understood to have been affected.

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Halsall was clearly feeling ill on Day Three of the Games when she could only manage a bronze in the women's 100m freestyle final.

Australian swimmers, among them Olympic medallists Andrew Lauterstein and Hayden Stoeckel, who failed to appear yesterday, have also been affected and both countries have sought assurances about the suitability of the water for elite competition.

Hunter also revealed the toilets at the Dr SJ Mukherjee Aquatics Complex had not been working but, having made immediate contact with the organising committee, the problem was rectified.

Asked whether the source of the illness problems lay in water contamination, Hunter said: "I'm not going to guess about anything or speculate as that is why there are professionals out there to test the quality of the water.

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"If they tell us the water is fit, it's fit. We had the assurance right from the start of the competition."

While Hunter confirmed one athlete had been to hospital for tests, it does not necessarily reflect the overall situation as countries and squads have their own medical teams.

Hunter also said he believed no isolation rooms had been used by any sick competitors on the England team.

Commonwealth Games England released a statement on the stomach bugs affecting the English athletes. It read: "As of today there are 541 England team members in the Village. Over the past 28 days eight per cent of our team have had some kind of mild stomach conditions. These levels are lower than we expected coming into this environment."

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