VIDEO: IAAF gives top rating to Stadium track

VIDEO: IAAF gives top rating to Stadium track

D Bogle

Friday, May 06, 2011

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JUST in time for tomorrow’s JN/Jamaica International Invitational Meet at the National Stadium, the IAAF Class One Certification for the two-month-old Regupol track was yesterday handed over to Independence Park Limited (IPL) by BSW, the German company which laid the blue running surface.

The project, which also included repairs to the Stadium East, was completed several weeks after its original schedule and cost the government J$72 million.

The certificate, which was issued on April 28, said the track meets all the technical requirements for IAAF rule 140.

Class One certification makes the track worthy of hosting IAAF international athletics meetings, including those in the World Athletics Series, Olympic Games or Area Permit Meetings.

"A year ago the track was a mess," director of export at BSW, Peter Breuer, said at yesterday’s function in the Royal Box at the Stadium.

Breuer illuminated the various challenges the company faced in getting the track ready, including the long, harsh European winter that caused delivery of the materials to be delayed for three weeks and meant work could not be completed until February 24.

Among the adjustments made was raising the grass football field by 44 millimetres, so that a new base could be laid for the track.

Twenty local labourers worked with two crews from BSW virtually around the clock for six weeks to get the track ready.

The annual Gibson Relays was pushed back by two weeks from the usual final Saturday in February to March 12 because of the work being done on the track.

The original Mundo track that was laid ahead of the hosting of the 2002 IAAF World Junior Championships had deteriorated considerably within the past year, especially in the area of the 100-metres start and the finish line.

Additionally, most development meets which were usually held at the Stadium East were moved inside because of the condition of the track at the smaller venue.

"This running track belongs to the athletes of Jamaica. They are the best athletes in the world," Minister of Sport Olivia Grange said at yesterday’s function.

The eight-year-old JII Meet, which was last year upgraded to IAAF World Challenge status, will be the first to parade a variety of local and international elite world-class athletes since the track was laid.

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