The World Championships in Athletics, like the Olympics, require an exceptional track certified by the IAAF. Just like the one Mondo has installed in the National Stadium in Beijing.
From the 22nd to 30th of August 2015, Beijing hosted the World Championships in Athletics. A great event that experienced Mondo starring as the official supplier of the track of the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest). Product quality and value the technical expertise of the company Cuneo have been repeatedly highlighted by the IAAF, which during the World Championships in Athletics announced the renewal of its partnership with Mondo until 2024.
"The agency is proud to honor the World Athletics with Mondo as official supplier of the IAAF, and renew this historical partnership," said the President of the IAAF in the during the World Championships. "The IAAF world events continue to benefit from the quality and the technical expertise of the Mondo. The Mondo sport surfaces are recognized worldwide as a revolutionary vanguard that has become a stage for memorable athletic performances ".
In confirmation of the positive comments made by the President of the IAAF, Mondo, in Beijing has installed a new Mondotrack, red like the one in 2008, which went on to register as many as 5 new world records. The new surface has replaced the old Olympic track, which was removed and installed in municipal facilities and structures adjacent to the stadium. The prime beneficiaries of this renovation were the athletes participating in the 15th edition of the World Championships in Athletics. It is important to know that behind the scenes of such an important project is the work of the impeccable Mondo team. A team that has been able to complete the work despite difficult environmental conditions. "Before starting the reconstruction work of the track, it was necessary to shovel a half meter of snow that completely covered the surface." Recalls Lawrence Perona, Project Manager of the World Track & Field.
"Throughout the winter, it had been shot with artificial snow from cannons, to allow the installation of up to 50 m high slopes that were used to create some real skiing".
Cleared of the snow surface, the engineers had to face a much more serious problem: the cold. "In Beijing we faced low rigid temperatures during the day and night. We consider cold or medium / cold daytime temperatures ranging from 8 to 15 degrees, because our product is able to be installed with the normal adhesive only at temperatures between 15 and 18 degrees. In situations like that of Beijing, with cold daytime and night temperatures (below 5 ° C), it is not possible to use a normal glue, a fast-setting adhesive was needed, which contains special additives, "recalls Perona. The use of a fast-setting adhesive, also affects the method of installation. "During a normal installation process there is a greater average time for the installation of the material. With a special adhesive, to obtain the same installation average the surface must be really experts. The special glue, in fact, needs 12 hours to become hard and walkable, but already within an hour, at most two, it starts to harden. The installer therefore has little time available from the moment the adhesive is mixed to the installation of the surface," explains Perona. ***
To control the micro-climate around the installation, the Mondo technical team had to protect it even at night. "We used the thermal blankets, similar to those used by Formula 1 to protect the tires of the car. They are enormous electric blankets that do not heat, but work to keep the surface temperature of the asphalt similar to that lowest recorded daytime temperature, and never falls below zero, "explains Perona. In this way, when the technicians return to work in the morning, the asphalt has a low temperature, but it is suitable to be coated with the fast-setting glue.
Another problem to be addressed and solved in a hurry, concerned the asphalt or substrate for the track of the National Stadium. To be certified by the IAAF Class 1, in December 2014 the asphalt of the track was completely rebuilt under the supervision of Mondo. "In early March, before the start of the installation of the synthetic covering, we performed a new inspection to check the condition of the base after the cold winter. It was proceeded with small repairs and leveling. Operations required to meet the strict tolerances required by the IAAF for a track of this level, "says Andrea Vallauri, Head of International Relations of Mondo. Meticulous preparation of the asphalt allowed the track to obtain the slope characteristics, flatness and uniformity required for certification.
To be certified IAAF Class 1, the new track was subjected to very strict controls. On occasions like this, a World Championship or an Olympic Games, the IAAF performs a first site test used to accurately measure the elasticity of rubber (shock absorption) to check that it is within the required parameters. It also checks the thickness of the rubber material: which must be uniform in every respect. If the test fails, the asphalt will have to be rebuilt, and that is why the work of the project managers and technicians involved in the subsoil must be impeccable. "When we give the green light to proceed to the installation team, we must be sure, because it means they will be installing up to 15,000 square meters and we can not afford surprises," says Lawrence Perona.
Class 1 Certification takes place prior to a test carried out on site by an external laboratory (in the case of Beijing has been done by Labosport, official member dell'ISSS, international body of scientific research for synthetic sports surfaces), and a test measurement report issued usually by the person making the markings on the track. The surface arrives devoid of markings and the installation is finished, there is opposite to a surface of a single color, with no pattern. "At this point our marker, paints the lines and produces another report. Once the two reporsts are obtained, the IAAF considers whether to make a further check. Normally, for example in Beijing in 2008, the control is done jointly with the outside body of certification, which must be independent. For large events, in addition to the outside certification body outside, in place the IAAF is always present, "recalls Perona.
In order to install the new track at the National Stadium in Beijing by May 11, 2015, the deadline for the closure of the session, Mondo relied on a highly qualified team of installers, because not everyone is able to install a Mondo surface. "Our installers are certified by the company: they have completeda course and have installed a few tracks together with our expert installers. After installing five or six tracks, their work is evaluated and, if they are interested, they are certified and become part of our team, "says Lawrence Perona. In Beijing, three teams of technicians and installers were on the field. "We were forced to use more staff than expected (about 30 people) because the daily work time available was very limited due to the extreme cold. Fortunately, there have not been many rainy days and everything went smoothly, "adds Andrea Vallauri. A team of installers on average produces 9,000 square meters, and employs between 25 days to a month to complete the work. Both the team of installers, that the marker consists of two people. The marking of the track is normally completed in approximtely 7 days.
By the middle of May 2015 both tracks in the National Stadium, and those in warm-up areas, were completed and IAAF certified. In June a test event was organized, during which Mondo had to ensure its own experts were present to attend the competition and if necessary intervene if necessary. Two weeks prior to the World Championships, there was a new inspection of the site, carried out by Mondo in order to carefully monitor all areas of competition. "At that stage we also installed the temporary material in the areas of connection, the mixed areas, etc ... So you have prepared the proper setup for the race," recalls Andrea Vallauri. As in all big events, Mondo was present inside the stadium even during the World Championships, to ensure the regular maintenance and cleaning of the track.