By Neto Baptiste
Rehabilitation work at the country’s lone track and field facility, the YASCO Sports Complex, could be less than two months from being completed.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton Cornelius, who is predicting that once US-based track builders Mondo commences the laying of the surface the facility would be completed within six weeks.
“Right now, the whole thing is not in our control and hopefully, if they can get [to Antigua] before the end of the month, then I am hoping that things could look good for next month. I would say about six weeks [from start of the laying of the surface] before running could start — unless there is no caution where they would have a problem with us using the track right after, because there might be a grace period where they would ask that we give it a week or two before we start using,” he said.
The new surface must be laid by Mondo technicians from whom the contractors here in Antigua are awaiting confirmation of when they will arrive to carry out the work.
According to Cornelius, this indicates that all is well from the country’s end where the completion of civil works are concerned.
“For them to be coming to lay the track, it means that things are in place. I wasn’t here but I got a report that [Mondo] came and inspected and they were quite pleased with the work that has been done to date. There were just some little blemishes here and there, and so we sorted those out, so right now it is in the hands of Mondo to decide when their people are coming to lay the track,” the athletics boss said.
The facility has been deemed unsuitable for use back in 2016 following an assessment by Meinolf Meier, a consultant with Porplastic, a track-building company based in Germany.
In his 2016 assessment, Meier likened YASCO to the country’s hard and uneven roads, adding it was extremely unsafe for use by athletes.