By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) and former national athlete, Everton Cornelius, said that following the laying of the Mondo surface, it could take up to another three weeks before the track is officially certified.
Speaking with Observer media, Cornelius revealed that on completion of the work at the facility, the surface and its marking must be certified by an independent Mondo technician.
“We need to look at what we need to put in place, put cost to them and then determine the way forward. We will be looking at having a discussion with the NOC because they are still favourable in terms of playing a role in the development of YASCO, and I think that’s a good thing since they are the ones who had actually gotten the surface for us. I think we can move in that same direction and whatever the government can do because I know they are strapped for cash,” he said.
Cornelius predicts that with good weather, ongoing work at the country’s lone track and field facility is slated to climax within the next two weeks.
“All of the surface will be laid probably by the end of this week and that is the overall intention, if not 99 percent of it with some little odds and ends like cutting off edges and doing stuff they might have to do. But we are just praying that we have good weather going forward and, barring that, I think that it should be completed by Friday or Saturday the latest,” he said.
Looking ahead, Cornelius said talks will commence regarding further upgrading of the facility on completion and certification of the surface.
“The certification is not left up to the persons laying the surface. The other technician has to come in now and do the marking and the certification. So, he would come in and check to make sure that everything is in the right place and make sure the 100 meter is there, the 110 hurdles and all these different things and then he would do the certification. We would be able to use the track before then to do a little thing, but I would not recommend anything heavy until that is done,” the athletics boss said.
Work at the facility has suffered a number of setbacks over the past three years, including that caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.