Athletics Head Hoping Coe Talks Yield Funding Results

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President of the Antigua & Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton “Mano” Cornelius, believes recent talks with President of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), Sebastian Coe, could result in welcomed financial assistance to aid in the resurfacing of the much debated YASCO track.
Cornelius, who attended the 2017 World Championships held in London this year, believes that over US$500,000.00 could be accessed through various organisations.
“The IAAF will give us US$160,000.00 towards the resurfacing. The IOC would match that US$160,000.00 which gives us about US$320,000.00 and PASO; I think that we can get a grant and the IOC and PASO grants I am talking about comes through the NOC so it has to be done by our local NOC. I think PASO would give us an additional US$200,000.00 for infrastructural development,” he said. 
According to Cornelius, the local body had applied for a grant that would have taken care of the track but said, while in London, he learnt that the initiative may still be some ways off.
“When I went to the World Championships [in London] I had discussions with the international people who deal with international affairs. I spoke with the president [Sebastian Coe] concerning our track and what’s going on. One of the hurdles we have to cross is that when we had applied it was for a new track and that was under the Qatar initiative but to date, when I spoke with him [Coe] at the World Championships he is saying nothing has been formalized with the Qatar initiative as yet so they don’t know
exactly when that will come on stream,” the track boss said. 
The former athlete has however called on the government to start making preparations for the pending upgrade that includes the extension of the 100 meters to accommodate hurdles.
“We have to basically extend the 100 meters to accommodate 110 hurdles. We have to put in the water-jump, and at the same time we have to finish the “d area” on the northern end of the track so those are civil works that need to be done,” Cornelius said.
“There is actually a survey we need to carry out on the track to make sure that the gradient meets the specification of the IAAF, so if they are serious about giving us a track, they can start the civil work and we can do and we will do all the necessary paper work we have to do to have these things in place so we can get the surface we need here,” he added.
The uncertified surface at the YASCO Sports Complex has been a sour point for the sport here for many years. Some national athletes have even refused to run at the facility in its present state.
The government had pledged to aid in the upgrading of the facility but, to date, have not followed through on the promise.

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