Risking injury while training on the country’s hard and uneven roads is just the same as training at the YASCO Sports Complex in its present state.
This is the opinion of Meinolf Meier, a consultant with Porplastic, a track-building company based in Germany.
Meier, who is in Antigua on request of the Antigua & Barbuda Athletic Association (ABAA), carried out inspections at the track on Monday. He said that the facility is not even close to meeting international standards.
“I am not a medical doctor and I can only talk [from] my own experience and, right now, I would not recommend [training on the track]. It is not healthy and to be honest, grass is better than what you have, or you can train on the road, because training on the road is the same as training at YASCO right now. I would not do it,” he said.
The consultant added that the material currently on the track is so thin that the spikes on the athletes’ footwear could be touching the hard concrete below.
“It just has the thickness I would estimate at about six millimeters and standard surfaces today have 13 to 14 millimeters. Therefore, the surface is much too hard; the running top is much too close to the asphalt, which is a hard base. There is no force reduction possible and with the spikes the athletes are using … on some spots [they] go directly onto the asphalt. This is not a sports surface anymore; this is close to a road,” Meier said.
There’s more in today’s Daily Observer.