The track being readied for the forthcoming European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland which will be held between 5-7 March, has seen major championship action before but not where it is currently installed.
European Athletics’ Partner Mondo originally installed its Sportflex Super X 720 K39 track in the Ergo Arena in Sopot, 190 kilometres away, ahead of the 2014 World Athletics Indoor Championships which were to be staged there.
As that venue was originally designed as an ice hockey stadium the original challenge was how to install a championship-standard track with excellent stability as well as minimal noise and vibration into such a facility but Mondo engineers – working with their local partners Tamex – realised that the solution was to build a three metre-high substructure and platform onto which the track itself was then laid.
The modular system – with all the track’s pieces to be disassembled and assembled through a quick coupling system – employed by Mondo meant that the track was able to be moved to the Arena Torun barely seven weeks after those championships and it has since regularly staged major domestic events as the country’s only World Athletics Certified Indoor Track, including the annual Copernicus Cup, which is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting and whose latest edition will take place on 17 February.
Head of the Torun 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships LOC Krzysztof Wolsztynski anticipates a plethora of outstanding performances on the track in five weeks’ time at what will be the global highlight of the indoor season and arguably the most important championship in the world during the first half of 2021.
'The European Athletics Indoor Championships won’t be the first international event in Torun. A lot of top athletes ask to take part in the indoor events (in Torun) because they know they can run really fast on this Mondo track and improve their personal bests. I hope the athletes will come to Torun well prepared and that they will achieve great results on the track and in the technical competitions.
“Relocating the Mondo track from Sopot to Torun in 2014 gave us extra visibility. Torun has become a famous city on the world map of indoor athletics. This means we can organise international meets and athletes are eager to take part in Torun. This success has contributed to our expansion and we are also delighted to participate in the World Athletics Indoor Tour,” commented Wolsztynski.
One man eager to return to Torun is Swedish pole vaulting superstar Armand Duplantis, who has already committed to competing at the European Athletics Indoor Championships as part of a busy indoor season.
In 2020, before the global turmoil delivered by the coronavirus pandemic, Duplantis set a world record of 6.17m at the Copernicus Cup indoor meeting, a record that was broken a few weeks later by Duplantis himself in Glasgow (on a surface also provided by Mondo) with 6.18m.
The hexagonal air cells that make up the Sportflex Super X surface guarantee a highly-rated combination of shock absorption, energy storage and then return, which can then translate into real benefits for the athletes themselves. The surface has been shown to reduce athletes’ fatigue and also the risk of injury during training and competitions.
'We have a lot of tracks with Mondo surfaces all over Poland... and I can say that many athletes prefer these surfaces. We won six gold medals in Glasgow (at the last European Athletics Indoor Championships, so Polish athletes are happy to be competing on a Mondo track at home in Torun for the European indoors in 2021,' commented the Polish athletics federation’s Director of High Performance Krzysztof Kęcki.