This coming Friday marks 100 days to go to The Match Europe v USA, which will be staged in the Belarus capital Minsk on 9-10 September.
The Match will be staged in the recently refurbished Dinamo National Olympic Stadium on the flagship product of European Athletics’ Green Inspiration Partner Mondo, a Mondotrack WS surface installed in spring 2018 which has been the competition track at the last two Olympic Games.
As part of the countdown to what is expected to be one of the major athletics competitions of the year, and the last serious outing for many likely medal contenders ahead of the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019, we have decided to provide an insight into the science and technology that goes into creating a Mondo track.
As part of Mondo’s commitment to sustainability – one of the key factors in the Italian-based company partnering with European Athletics and its Green Inspiration programme – their track products are specifically engineered to minimise the environmental impact through all stages of their life cycle; including production, use and disposal.
The company manufactures all its track surfaces at their production facility in Gallo d’Alba, a small town just over 50 kilometres from Torino.
The plant has been certified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 (quality management) and ISO 14001:2015 (environmental management) – the main international standards for quality management – and it is equipped with a substantial photovoltaic system which prevents the release into the potential atmosphere of around 2000 tons of CO2 per year.
Mondo tracks contain 38% of contaminant-free recycled materials and approximately 10% of rapidly renewable materials and their products are tested by independent laboratories that evaluate current environmental standards to ensure they comply.
The tracks are heavy-metal free – and have been so for several decades – and have also been classified as non-hazardous waste. They guarantee that emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are in compliance with the most stringent air quality standards, providing an effective contribution against air pollution, which has an impact on athlete’s health, and performance as elite sportsmen and women are likely to breathe greater volumes of air than the general population.
A Mondo track itself is made up of two different layers of solid rubber with their own specific formulations, vulcanised together to form a continuous, seamless piece of material.
With guaranteed uniform thickness over the entire track surface, this eliminates the possibility of ‘dips, humps and cracks’ that could break an athlete’s rhythm, especially in competition.
This uniformity in turn helps improve athletic performance and reduces fatigue as well as the risk of trauma.
All track surfacing systems relay on rubber for traction and slip resistance but Mondo tracks. are free of coatings and partially embedded granules that will loosen over time.
An embossed pattern of alternating elevations and depressions on the surface of Mondo tracks form a complex, interconnected network of channels that guarantees traction and efficient water drainage, allowing the use of compression spikes in all weather conditions.
The track’s bottom layer incorporates an array of air-filled cavities that compress as an athlete’s foot impacts the surface, so absorbing impact force and vibrations, and converting the maximum amount of kinetic energy into stored energy. As the athlete’s foot leaves the surface, the compressed air causes the cells to spring back to their original shape, acting like bowstrings, helping project the athlete up and forward.
The supporting layer features an embossed pattern of ribbed material that surrounds a uniform array of hexagon-shaped cavities that are uniquely elongated in the running direction. The resulting honeycomb construction can change shape in three dimensions upon impact.
As a result, athlete contact with the surface is minimised, foot stability is enhanced, and movement efficiency is maximised with a significant improvement in athletic comfort and performance.
The Dinamo National Olympic Stadium in Minsk has already seen several top-class domestic and international meetings since it was inaugurated on 21 June last year and will also host the DNA competition at next month’s European Games.