Young stars wait for Kanteerava doors to open


Work on the synthetic surface at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium pushed them out from their main training base but now, even with the track ready, they are still awaiting permission to have a feel of it.

“We have been on the road for five months,” said one of the coaches as his wards went through their paces outside the stadium, near the rock-climbing area. “These are budding champions and there is no place for them to train properly.”

The gates of the stadium were closed on April 27 this year for the work to start on the new track.

Despite delays caused by rains, the work on the main track was completed by the end of August. But the warm-up track is yet to be laid, forcing the officials to wait before opening the gates to the venue.

“There was an extra order after the tender was finalised, as they wanted the warm-up track to be of six lanes, an increase from the four lanes that were originally planned. So we needed to procure extra material for it. Hence the delay in laying it,” said Shiv Prakash Singh, managing director of Shiv Naresh, the Indian representatives of the company responsible for laying the track.

“The material should be here in the next 15-20 days and after that we will require another one week to ten days to complete the work,” he added.

With the Junior Nationals scheduled for next month, medal hopefuls from Karnataka can ill afford to miss important training time but with no proper facility available, they are forced to risk injury as they battle it out in mud and sand. “Even if the warm-up area is not ready, they can open the main venue so that the athletes can train properly for the coming meets. If they do that it will be of great help,” said a Karnataka Athletics Association official.

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