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Tokyo Bay, where part of the Olympic triathlon event is set to be held despite lingering concerns about pollution. Photo: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

With just days to go before the Tokyo Olympics begin, Bloomberg reports that concerns are growing about pollution levels in Tokyo Bay, where the swimming portion of the triathlon is set to take place.

What's happening: A test for the swimming part of the Paratriathlon in the bay was canceled in August 2019 after E. coli bacteria was found at more than twice the limit set by triathlon officials — and after one athlete reportedly said the bay "smelled like a toilet."

  • But despite the efforts of organizers — which included dumping 22,000 cubic meters of sand in the bay and designing polyester screens to protect the venue from bacteria — residents have noticed a pungent smell coming off the bay in recent weeks.

By the numbers: Wastewater and sewage from Tokyo's 30 million residents, combined with runoff from multiple rivers and canals, all have to be treated before flowing into Tokyo Bay.

The bottom line: Water pollution is a fact of life for triathletes who compete in events in large cities, which means that arguably the most arduous Olympic event will simply involve a slightly higher — and smellier — degree of difficulty.

Go deeper

Updated 10 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Sakura Yosozumi during women's park skateboarding at the Olympics on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

🥇: Sydney McLaughlin breaks own world record to win gold in 400m hurdles

📈: Simone Biles' exit brings global attention to mental health

🦠: Greece's artistic swimming team to miss Olympics after COVID outbreak

🏃🏾‍♂️: Tampa teen phenom Erriyon Knighton eyes gold in Tokyo

🛫: Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya departs Tokyo for Vienna

.📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 12 highlights

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Updated Aug 3, 2021 - Sports

In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 11 highlights

Jrue Holiday, #12 of Team USA, drives to the basket against Spain during their men's basketball quarterfinal on day 11 of the Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on Aug. 3 in Saitama, Japan. Holiday scored 12 points for the U.S. during the game. Photo: Charlie Neibergall - Pool/Getty Images

Day 11 of the Tokyo Olympic Games saw Norway's Karsten Warholm smash the world record in the 400-meter hurdles — and so did the second-placed American Rai Benjamin on Tuesday.

Of note: In men's basketball, Team USA overcame a tough challenge from Spain to win 95-81 and advance to the semifinals — with Kevin Durant scoring 29 points for the Americans.

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.