LOCATED IN PARIS IN THE XIII ARRONDISSEMENT, the Charléty Stadium is the second largest stadium in the capital.
Despite the fact that it is primarily dedicated to athletics, the stadium has hosted - and continues to host - competitions of all kinds, such as the DécaNation in 2000, the European Athletics Cup in 1999 and the Paris Diamond League, which takes place at the Charléty every year. Not forgetting that Paris FC - its home team - regularly plays friendly matches at the stadium. There is no doubt, however, that athletics is the discipline that truly allows the Charléty Stadium to shine, and that this is the sport that has brought it so many world records. Ahead of the European Athletics Championships 2020 - an event that has unfortunately now been cancelled - the stadium underwent a major renovation in 2019, with the installation of a new MONDO track and a modernisation of its facilities.
The history of the Charléty Stadium is a little complicated. Built in 1939 at the request of a university rector, it was originally intended as a training centre for the Paris Université Club.
In 1989 it was knocked down, and then rebuilt between 1991 and 1994 by two architects: Henri and Bruno Goudin. Their goal was to transform the stadium into a multi-purpose facility, creating athletics track in addition to both football and rugby pitches. The architects also equipped it with a multi-functional hall, several gyms and tennis and squash courts.
Located near the offices of the French Athletics Federation and the French National Olympic and Sports Committee, the Charléty Stadium has become the hub of the athletics world.
Indeed, before the 2019 edition of the Diamond League, several renovations were commenced, including the installation of a new MONDO Sportflex Super X 720 track. This work should have proceeded with the modernisation of the facilities ahead of the start of the European Athletics Championships in Paris 2020.
At the Charléty Stadium, MONDO has installed a Sportflex Super X 720 track with a surface area of 11,000 m2. In accordance with IAAF (World Athletics) performance criteria, this prefabricated track represents the perfect combination of shock absorption, vertical deformation and energy return. The rubber upper layer delivers unparalleled levels of elasticity, along with high resistance to wear and tear caused by track spikes. However, it is the geometrically-constructed hexagonal air cell backing that makes the system so special, providing excellent cushioning and energy storage and return.
In addition, the track has been designed with absolute respect for the environment. A photovoltaic plant enables the MONDO factory in Gallo d'Alba (Italy) to slash carbon dioxide production by 2,000 tonnes. Furthermore, the flooring itself consists of 38% recycled raw materials and 10% rapidly renewable materials.
An all-round excellent track, then, both in terms of the level of performance it offers and about its environmental impact.
The 2020 program of the Charléty stadium promised to be very rich, but the COVID pandemic caused several sporting events to be postponed or even canceled: on 13 June 2020 the center was supposed to host the Diamond League and from 26 to 30 August 2020 it would have been the turn instead. of the European Athletics Championships.
At the Meeting de Paris held in August 2019, the athletes nevertheless had the pleasure of inaugurating the brand new track. “I am very happy to make my debut here, it is a beautiful city,” said Yulimar Rojas, Venezuelan triple jump champion, who arrived in Paris for the first time.
“After the Pan American Games, where I made a 15.11m jump, my goal is to do better at every attempt. I am eagerly awaiting just like for Lima, above all because there will be a fantastic audience and an excellent stadium ”. A Sportflex Super X 720 track was also installed at the Lima stadium, where the champion took first place.
“[The track] gives back the right thrust and it's as fast as I like it,” said Karsten Warholm, a Norwegian competing in the 400m hurdles.
The track seems to have reciprocated the nice words: finishing the race in 47’26, the Nordic athlete touched his European record.
Yulimar Rojas is no exception, because she managed to perform a triple jump of 15.05 m, making the second world performance of the season. American triple jump champion Will Claye also raved the stadium with a jump of 18.06m. With 13’24, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, for his part, finished 5th in the 110m hurdles, totaling his best time of the season. “The track is brand new and it is an honor for us to inaugurate it,” he said. The athlete has positively evaluated the surface that allows you to reach real peaks in speed.
The first users have therefore been won over: equipped with the new Sportflex Super X 720 athletics track, the Charléty stadium has proven to have a lot to offer to professional athletes from all over the world.
This was confirmed with the performances signed on the track by the athletes participating in the 2021 edition of the Diamond League; several best performances were achieved, such as that of the athlete Francine Niyonsaba over 3000m, or that of Benjamin Kigen in the 3000m steeplechase
We just have to wish all the athletes who will participate in the 2022 edition of the Wanda Diamond League a great good luck!