Swimming: Saturday's Fina Swimming World Cup finals in Singapore cancelled owing to haze

(From left) Katinka Hosszu, Emily Seebohm and Missy Franklin at the Fina World Championships in Kazan on Aug 8. Their showdown in Singapore has been cancelled due to haze.
(From left) Katinka Hosszu, Emily Seebohm and Missy Franklin at the Fina World Championships in Kazan on Aug 8. Their showdown in Singapore has been cancelled due to haze.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Singapore leg of the Fina Swimming World Cup fell victim to the escalating haze issue, as Saturday evening's finals at the OCBC Aquatic Centre were cancelled.

Organisers had said earlier that races would be scrapped if the 3-hr Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) is above 200 just before the start of each session.

At 4pm, the 3-hr PSI hit 190, up from 172 at 3pm, entering the higher end of the unhealthy range (101 to 200 on the 24-hour PSI). Noting the "upward trend in the 3-hour PSI reading", organisers decided to cancel the event.

A statement said: "At 4pm today the 3-hour PSI reading was 190. We've observed an upward trend in the 3-hour PSI reading and for the safety of all athletes, guests, officials, spectators, volunteers and staff, we have made the decision to cancel the finals scheduled for 6pm this evening.

"Spectators who have purchased tickets for this evening's session will be eligible for a refund."

This is the first time the Fina Swimming World Cup is cancelled here since the Republic first hosted the meet in 2007

A total of 15 finals were scheduled to take place in the evening session. As such, the three fastest swimmers from the morning heats will be awarded the medals.

It also meant that fans were unable to catch the highly-anticipated 200m backstroke showdown between world champion Emily Seebohm, multiple Olympic champion Missy Franklin, and world 200m individual medley record holder Katinka Hosszu.

The trio had finished in the top three in the 200m back at August's Fina Swimming World Championships in Kazan.

Franklin, who qualified fastest with a time of 2min4.06sec, will be awarded the gold, with Seebohm (2:05.81) taking the silver and Hosszu (2:06.81) settling for bronze.