Thursday 30 October 2014

You had one job...China constructs running track complete with right-angled corners

Published 28/07/2014 | 20:48

The track constructed in Heilongjiang province’s Tonghe County in northern China has come in for stinging criticism and ridicule

Sports officials in China have been left embarrassed after authorising the construction of a running track with right-angled corners.

The track was constructed in Heilongjiang province’s Tonghe County in northern China as part of a major refurbishment of the 100,000 sq ft stadium.

While the stadium and facilities are of a high standard, the running track has become a laughing stock after designers painted 90-degree corners onto the track rather than the usual curves.

“It all looks jolly good - apart from the track which doesn’t really look up to standard,” a bemused local told Newsnight, a regional television programme.

Newsnight dispatched a correspondent to examine the track’s unconventional curvatures and shed some light on what had gone wrong.

“I felt a bit strange at the turn,” Li Xiao’ang, the reporter, said, after attempting his first onscreen lap.


Stadium officials have defended their actions by claiming their original track had once featured curves but said its rubber surface had become severely worn down from overuse.

The botched attempt to please visiting Communist Party dignitaries has turned the Heilongjiang stadium into an online laughing stock.

“Does the designer have a square brain?” wondered a user of Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media network, while athletes and medical professionals voiced their concerns over potential injuries resulting from the flawed design.

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