By Neto Baptiste
National shot-putter Jess St John is not surprised that work to upgrade the country’s lone track and field facility, the YASCO Sports Complex, to meet international standards, is yet to be competed.
The athlete, who now lives in the USA, is also not optimistic that the track will be completed this year, adding that it has long been a deterrent to athletes like herself who may desire to return home at intervals during the year for training and preparation purposes.
“No I am not surprised, I am not surprised at all because it’s been years and will probably be a next few years before the complex is fully complete. It’s absolutely unfortunate for the overseas athletes because we can’t even come home to train because there is no track, no throwing area, there’s nothing for us,” she said.
In his most recent update on progress at the facility, sports minister Daryll Matthew said specialists designated to complete the laying of the surface on the track are facing difficulties in securing flights out of their respective countries owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
St. John said she has been staying in shape anyway she can.
“Ever since I graduated I have been hitting the weight room every day. I still try to work on my technical stuff at home and even though I am not working with a coach at the moment I still try to do what I can on my own, but every day I have been in the weight room working and keeping that strength for whatever is possible,” the athlete said.
Mondo hired technicians, in March, had started prep work for the laying of the certified surface but were forced to halt all activities and return to their respective countries over fears boarders would close with them still in Antigua.