World athletics governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (Iaaf), has certified Bingu National Stadium fit to host international athletics tournaments.
The product certificate, issued by Iaaf, states that the synthetic surface was tested and meets the technical requirements for international competitions.
“This certificate is issued in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Iaaf certification system of track and field facilities, implements and competition equipment,” reads the certificate, co-signed by Iaaf General Secretary Essar Gabriel and Jorge Salcedo, the association’s Technical Committee Chairperson.
However, the certificate’s validity runs from August 2013 to August this year and the Malawi National Council of Sports Executive Secretary George Jana has asked the Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) to seek its renewal.
“There is need for the certificate to take effect from the date of expiry, which is August this year. We believe AAM has already taken the matter to the international body,” Jana said.
He also called on AAM to develop technical capacity among locals so that they can handle athletics equipment at the venue.
The association’s president, Godfrey Phiri, said the contractor who installed the track will report on its condition to Iaaf before the expiry date and recommend extension.
“The product certificates are issued in two-year intervals and we expect a two-year extension after expiry in August,” Phiri explained.
He said the certificate has been issued late because it could not have been granted before the official opening ceremony.
The stadium missed several completion deadlines before its opening on January 28, 2017.
The BNS synthetic track is the only international standard athletics facility in the country
Local athletes will also need to procure the right running shoes to match the requirements of using the track.
It was noted during the opening ceremony of the stadium that several athletes had wrong spikes for running on the track.
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