Mixed views about track
BOUNCY, FAST, GOOD, soft, hard, the same.
Those were some of the opinions expressed by athletes after competing recently on the newly laid Mondo Track at the National Stadium.
After months of waiting, athletes had two days to get a feel of the new surface during the Barbados Olympians Classic and several of them set new personal best times.
“The track was bouncy, it was faster than the one before,” said Mario Burke, who did a new time of 21.41 seconds in the 200 metres.
“It is among the best I have ever run on,” added the CARIFTA Games’ Under-17 Boys’ 100 metres gold medallist.Burke said he didn’t suffer any ill effects although Shavonne Husbands complained of pain in the shin after running the 100 metres.
“It’s much better than the previous surface, I can say for sure, but it’s kind of hard,”?she said. “It’s not as bouncy as other tracks I have run on. It’s part of the adjustments, but by Nationals, I will be ready.”
Husbands’ teammate, Althia Maximilien, was shocked because she found no difference.
“It feels the same way. It just feels like the normal track, the only thing is that it looks different.”
Not so for Jermain Hinds, who is also enjoying the new track.
“The track is great. It is significantly softer than what we had before, so it is a lot easier on the shins, ankles, knees, everything.
You are less likely to be injured,” Hinds said.“I literally pressed my finger into it, but they need to do something about the warm-up track. The difference is night and day and I prefer to do my warm-up on the back stretch.”
Hinds also called for the changing rooms adjacent to the warm-up track to be cleaned and electricity installed. He said when the visibility went, they were too dark to be used.
“Some little things like that could help the athletes,” he pointed out.Hurdler Daley Carter also did a personal best 14.52 at the Olympic height (106cm) of the high hurdles.
“It is a good track, kind of fast. I was getting to the hurdles faster than I expected, causing me to hit a few hurdles, but it was nice and bouncy.”Carter said getting in more runs on the surface would be very helpful as this weekend’s National Championships approach.
There have also been some changes for the field event athletes.
The javelin is now on the northern side of the field and Janeill Criagg said there was a headwind throwing from that direction, so greater care had to be taken with the release.
However, shot put and discus thrower Tristan Whitehall took the move of the shot put throw from the northern side of the Stadium to the south in stride.
“It didn’t affect me,” she said. “When you go overseas, you still have to compete from different angles, but I like up there better because you are in front of the crowd.”