Mid-year completion predicted for YASCO

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The YASCO Sports Complex, the country’s lone track and field facility, could be fully refurbished with an updated surface by the middle of this year.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton Cornelius, whose news come on the heels of the country’s subpar performance at the Carifta Games in the Bahamas over the Easter weekend.
Young sprinter Soniya Jones and triple jumper Taeco O’garro were the country’s lone bright sparks at the games. Jones won bronze in the 100 metres with a
personal best of 11.75 seconds, while O’garro won bronze with a leap of 15.38 meters.
“We have now finalised the purchase of the surface; that is taken care of and is a done deal, and as you know, the silly season [election period] was pretty much blooming and even though we had started work at YASCO, in terms of the civil works, it basically came to a halt. Nobody wants to say that it was because of the elections and all of the equipment [were] being used to do other things, but I knew that was the problem even though the intention was to have things done during that time,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda secured a grant from the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) for the purchasing and laying of a new surface at the facility.
A continued delay in civil works, which falls under government’s purview, has however slowed the project and continuously pushed back the original March 2018 delivery date.
“We can look at Carnival, [July] but I know we have one challenge ahead of us which is removing the existing surface from the base. When I get to the Commonwealth Games I will talk to my friends from Trinidad, because I was told some time ago that they have a shredder they had used to remove their surface from their track, and if it’s still in Trinidad then we may have to get it over to Antigua. [Other] than that, we may find ourselves in more problems than we anticipate,” Cornelius said.
The government and the athletics association have come under heavy scrutiny for what many have called a wanton disregard for the state of YASCO and what seems to be their inability to move the project forward.
As a result of the conditions at YASCO, the inter-schools athletics meet has been indefinitely postponed while a number of athletes have been forced to find alternate training venues.
World-renowned track surface manufacturers, Mondo Track, has been charged with supplying and overseeing the laying of the new and internationally certified surface at YASCO.  

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