KARACHI: A team of technical experts of athletics comprising officials of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) will visit PSB’s Karachi centre next week to examine the condition of its tartan track, ‘The News’ learnt on Saturday.
Informed sources said that these experts are visiting Karachi on the directives of PSB director general Ameer Hamza Gillani, who wants a complete report about its condition so that a decision for its repair or replacement could be taken.
Gillani had promised during his visit to Karachi two weeks back that the tartan track would be replaced. The PSB experts will be led by its deputy director and former athlete Habib Shah and AFP team will be led by its honorary captain Malik Ashraf. Officials of SAA will assist them.
‘The News’ had published several stories about the ruin of the tartan tack in the context of 44th National Athletics Championship, which was scheduled to be held in Karachi in May, but had to be shifted to Islamabad due to the poor condition of the tartan track.
The PSB coaching center’s tartan track is more than 16 years old. According to the international standards a tartan track should be replaced after nine years. But the authorities have failed to replace this track although it completed its lifetime of nine years way back in 2004. The track was laid in 1996.
The facility has never been properly maintained, which accelerated its deterioration. The poor condition of the track recently resulted in the cancellation of National Athletics Championship, which was to be held in Karachi in May.
Gillani during his last visit directed PSB’s Karachi centre director Zulfiqar Abro to send him a fresh report about the condition of the existing track with recommendations of its replacement after consultation with the Sindh Athletic Association (SAA).
The DG coaching centre sent him the report after which the DG decided to seek the opinion of technical officials. But the DG PSB has not given any directions for the installation of an electronic timer at the Karachi centre which is as necessary as the tartan track because in its absence national and international athletics competitions cannot be held in Karachi.
When this scribe asked PSB Karachi center officials and SAA people if the visiting experts would also review the prospects of installation of electronic timer they expressed ignorance about it.