Special report: 2008 Olympic Games
QINGDAO, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The algae outbreak off the coast of this Olympic co-host city was "unavoidable," Hein Verbruggen, International Olympics Committee coordination commission chairman, has said.
"I believe it is an unavoidable natural disaster," Verbruggen said on Tuesday after hearing a report on the issue by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games in the national capital.
"We believe you did not deserve it. We believe in the ability of the local government to call upon all human resources to deal with it," the official was quoted by Yuan Zhiping, assistant to the chairman of the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Committee, as saying.
Yuan was present at Tuesday's Beijing meeting.
Verbruggen also praised the algae-clearing work, according to Yuan.
As of Wednesday, only 2.8 percent of the 49.48-square-kilometerOlympic sailing venue was covered by algae, a sharp drop from 32 percent when it appeared off the coast in early June.
On Wednesday, 81 boats from 26 countries practiced sailing in the guarded sea area. There are 399 athletes from 34 nations training in the port city of east China's Shandong Province.
A heavy fog has hindered the construction of a long sea barrier to cordon off the algae over the past three days. The Qingdao city government has vowed to clear up the venue before July 15.