Zealous sports officials in China have built a running track. But this is no ordinary track and will require some stunning footwork to maneuver as there are no curves. The running track has perfect 90o turns instead of gradual bends, as is the norm in a standard oval track.
The sports officials built a rectangular running track because they were concerned they wouldn’t get an oval one finished in time for a Communist Party inspection. The bizarre circuit was built as a part of a major refurbishment of a 10,000 square foot stadium in Tonghe County in the north-eastern Heilongjiang province.
With the big-budget project running significantly behind schedule and an inspection by notoriously finicky Communist Party officials quite close, managers made the decision to quite literally cut corners and create a running track with awkward 90-degree bends, reported Short List.
Their justification for a right angled running track? They are much easier and faster to measure and lay out. The officials argued that the old and correctly laid out oval track was excessively worn out and couldn’t be used as a template for repainting. Moreover, Communist Party officials announced their ‘surprise’ visit and that left no time for the officials to measure the curvature and paint as per the standards. So they chose to instead cover the track with perfect corners at every bend.
Except for the square running track, almost everything is picture perfect; from the perfectly laid grass in the center of the sports field to the massively improved seating facilities for spectators. But the right angled sports track has been strongly ridiculed by the reporters who were invited to cover the visit by the Communist Party officials, reported The Daily Mail.
Needless to say, the right angled rectangular track is extremely dangerous for athletes that will have to drastically reduce their gait in order to stick to their lane. Sports enthusiasts also warned about head collisions as athletes would have to bend unnaturally in order to turn effectively. Despite being strongly criticized, a stadium manager was quoted as saying,
“In order to get it ready for the leaders, we painted it like that… We think it is ugly too but if the leaders don’t ask us to change it, what are we supposed to do?”
If at all the track does open up for athletes, it will surely result in a lot of injuries. But for now, the track appears all set for its re-opening. Wonder how the starting position will look like?
[Image Credit | Short List]