Remedial work needed at Leonora track ahead of CARIFTA Championships- AAG head

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Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) President, Aubrey Hutson, is hoping that the synthetic surface at Leonora can be re-laid, especially for the country’s hosting of the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships in 2023.

It has been confirmed through the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Congress that Guyana will host the CARIFTA Games, but currently, the major worry for the AAG is the current condition of the synthetic surface at the National Track and Field Facility, Leonora, West Coast Demerara.

Athletics Association of Guyana President, Aubrey Hutson

The concerns are regarding the warm-up facility, and having a new jumping pit to the Southern end to the ground.

“For us to host CARIFTA and have track events and jumping events going on at the same time, it will be important that we have that a new pit put down. I would not condemn the [current] pith that they have, but to have it on the ‘back straight’ will be more spectator-friendly,” he expressed in a recent interview.

He explained that based on a recommendation from NACAC, a company in the United States can relay the surface for an approximate cost of US$500,000 since the current surface has deteriorated significantly, while the new jumping pit would be between US$60,000 and US$80,000.

In January 2020, NACAC’s team visited Guyana, in anticipation of Guyana hosting the Games in 2021, and General Secretary Keith Joseph, noted that it is not normal for the long jump and triple jump pit to be located where it is, that is in the ‘D’.

It is, according to Joseph, normally located along the 100m straight or on the back straight.

Additionally, the warm-up area for athletes also needs to be completed, Joseph revealed, noting that while the location is not ideal, it is something they can work with.

In 2017, the Director of the facility, Trevor Williams, had stated there will be a 200M warm-up strip. A tender was out for $14 million.

The facility, the lone one in the country to date, was officially opened in April 2015. It is understood the total sum to construct the first of its kind facility in Guyana was just over G$1 billion.

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