"There's nothing like running on Regupol. To me, Regupol equals gold. In more ways than one." - Usain Bolt, Olympic and World Championship gold medallist, on his official website.
In a major milestone for athletics in Oman, 100m sprint world champion Bolt's favourite brand of running tracks was laid out at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) in Muscat, the country's hub of sports, last week. The eight-lane Regupol track, produced by German company BSW (Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk) and brought to Muscat by Khimji Ramdas Special Projects Division (KRSPD), is certified by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) as Class II category.
The new track that has been laid out inside the football stadium can now host international Grand Prix events. Karem Shaik, KRSPD's business head for fitness & sports, told Muscat Daily, “The track design and its installation was supervised by Thomas Beitzel, the export director of BSW. He was involved with the preparation of the track at the Mona Campus under the University of the West Indies (UWI), in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2010.
“The Mona Campus is Bolt's training facility where he had prepared for the London Olympics. It is the home training camp of Jamaican Racers Track Club, where renowned coach Glenn Mills trains the legendary Bolt and Yohan Blake.” At the SQSC, the track was set up by Marino Trevesi and Thorsten Wessolek, expert installers from BSW.
The new facility will comprise IAAF Class II 400m running tracks with two 'D' areas, which will accommodate field events, like javelin, pole vault, triple jump, long jump, shot put, discus and hammer throw. Bolt has often admired Regupol tracks, mentioning in his website that his love for this brand of track began at the Berlin Olympic Stadium during the 2009 World Athletics Championships, where he had set the historic 100m world record of 9.58 seconds.
The legendary Olympian had broken the 200m world record at the same meet. Shaik said that Regupol AG - the variety that has been installed at the SQSC - is the same product that was used to prepare the training track at the UWI. The SQSC track’s asphalt sub-base was re-laid under the supervision of Vytautus Kundzelevicius, an expert in preparation of IAAF-certified running tracks.
The project was completed in six months as work had to be halted when Oman’s FIFA World Cup qualifying matches were played. Shortly after the 2012 London Games, where Bolt led Jamaican Racers Track Club's medal sweep (three golds, two silvers), coach Mills attributed the success partly to his team’s training track in Jamaica.
Mills said, "The Regupol track at our training and performance centre at UWI Mona has definitely contributed to the fine performance of our athletes. “Bolt, Blake and all members of my Racers Track Club team enjoy training daily on the Regupol track. The surface performs great and is most consistent. I am getting zero complaints from any of our athletes and what is even more important, we haven’t had any injuries ever since we did our training on the Regupol track."