YASCO Upgrade On Go Slow

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There has been no progress where the upgrading of the country’s lone track & field facility is concerned and Minister of Sports, EP Chet Greene, was unable to specify as to when work could start on the uncertified surface.
Greene, speaking recently on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, said the government is, however, not dragging its feet where the project is concerned.
“There is nothing to report at the moment. It is still work in progress in terms of the acquisition, in terms of the design, in terms of the funding and it’s all happening in a potpourri. As such time as I have information for the public I will be the first to break it but we are not relaxing, we are not resting on our laurels, we are working very much behind the scenes to bring the project forward,” he said.
The state of YASCO and its negative effects on athletes, has been the subject of many debates over the years.
The government, last year, pledged its commitment to the upgrading of the facility, stating that it is hoping to engage the Chinese government on the project.
Asked if consideration was given to the erection of an entirely new facility, the Minister said that is not part of the immediate plans.
“That’s long term. The immediate situation and limited solution to our track & field or athletics woes is to fix YASCO. We have had those suggestions thrown into the mix of building a brand new facility and those are being considered as well but the immediate situation is the upgrade of YASCO to a standard befitting the profile of the programme and the athletes involved and the nation,” he said.
Sprinter Miguel Francis, in switching his allegiance to Great Britain, listed the poor track condition at YASCO as one reason for his decision. Also, national sprinter, Daniel Bailey, refused several times to compete on the track, owing to the inferior surface.
Young sprinter Joella Lloyd also felt the sting of YASCO when she clocked 23:37, what would have been a new world record in the 14 and under category for the 200 metres in the Inter-schools Championships earlier this year, but it was not recognized by the IAAF owing to the uncertified state of the track.
The national championship is slated for July with a number of the country’s top athletes expected to compete.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton Cornelius, said earlier this year that the nationals could be significantly scaled down from previous meets owing to the condition of the track.

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