Europe’s top university athletes will have the opportunity to compete on a Mondotrack WS track – the same surface that was used for the competition track at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – at the forthcoming Universiade in Napoli, Italy with the six days of athletics held between 8-13 July.
Mondo, a European Athletics Green Inspiration partner, started installing their flagship product four weeks ago and the work in the famous Stadio San Paolo, which celebrates its 60th birthday in December, will take place in two phases as it is also the home to the local Napoli football club.
The workmen are now currently on a break as the installation at the stadium, in the city's western suburb of Fuorigrotta, and the third-largest stadium in Italy, has temporarily stopped to accommodate the end-of-season Serie A games as I Partenopei challenge for a place in next season’s Champions League.
However, work laying down the prefabricated 8500m2 track – manufactured in a controlled factory environment unaffected by temperature and climatic conditions which means Mondo can guarantee perfect consistency over the whole surface of the track, even if sections are installed at different times and different climatic conditions – will resume on 7 May.
Installation will be completed by the end of next month, giving plenty of time for testing and any additional minor modifications before approximately 1300 athletes from 120 nations – including almost all of European Athletics’ 51 Member Federations – contest the medals before possibly celebrating success or failure with a pizza, which notably originated in the city.
At the last Universiade in 2017, held in Chinese Taipei and also on a Mondo track, European athletes won 30 of the 50 gold medals on offer.
In fact, this will be the eighth Universiade that has been staged on a Mondo track and the company's product was chosen again thanks to guarantees of high standards of environmental sustainability, including the lowest levels of Volatile Organic Compound emission – chemicals which evaporate at low temperatures and in some cases which can also be harmful to health and the environment – in the sports surface industry.
Capacity at the stadium will be reduced from 60,240 to 55,000 following the overall stadium renovations which include replacing fencing with see-through shielding and also changing the stadium seats.
However, the installation of the Mondotrack WS and other stadium modifications will open up the possibility of the city being able to bid for other major athletics events in the future, with Rome’s Olympic Stadium having been the venue for Italy’s most recent staging of the European Athletics Championships 45 years ago in 1974.