IAAF proposes modern running tracks for Dar

After shocking and choking performance of the just ended World Championships in Berlin, Athletics Tanzania (AT) has been urged to improve its running tracks for the local athletes.

The International Association Athletics Federation, IAAF, has proposed to all of its members to install special approved running tracks reminiscent of those used in modern stadiums for global championships.

IAAF has set a deadline at least by 2011 most of its members should install the tracks to conform to international accepted standards.

Athletics Tanzania, AT, assistant secretary general Julius Msomi said the IAAF has advised all countries including Tanzania to effect the installation ahead of the next world championship to be staged in South Korea in 2011.

The track installation will be funded by IAAF and is estimated to cost between $60,000 and $100,000 depending on construction logistics and economic dynamics of the selected countries.

At its meeting in Berlin, IAAF noted that the poor show of many athletes at the event was caused by unfamiliarity to run on the artificial tracks.

Some of the athletes found the tracks intimidating and would not run with the kind of pace and comfort they used to have in their home tracks.

Msomi said the installation of the artificial tracks would to some extent resolve or minimize poor performance of the Tanzania athletes at global stages.

IAAF has set a deadline of September 30 for AT to confirm the installation of the tracks should they need to.

In response to the IAAF deadline, Msomi said efforts are underway to notify the Government on the proposed project within the set deadline.

AT is desperately in need of the project to be endorsed by the Government before providing a feedback to the IAAF.

Msomi remained optimistic that the Government would nod for the project to go ahead since it does not distort or involve any costly resources.

In a related development, Msomi said IAAF annual congress discussed, among others, the amendment of its rules and regulations.

The congress endorsed the proposal to disqualify false starters in sprinting events.

The AT has come under public criticism as a result of poor performance of the Tanzania athletes who were availed with everything at their disposal but failed to pay back.

AT is alleged to have downplayed the need to ascertain the current form of the athletes during selection of the team, and instead past performance became the basis of selection.

Lack of competitive training is what the AT is lining up its defence for the lackluster show of the Tanzania athletes at Berlin championships.

AT were fully supported by the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services and on top of that the German Government backed the team’s training camp upon their arrival ahead of the Berlin show.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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