New athletics track at the Estadio Nacional promises better performances in Santiago 2023

The surface will be equipped with the best technology on the market. "It guarantees us a high technical level and the possibility of good records," said the technical delegate of the discipline Julio Gómez.

One of the sports that attracts the greatest interest in each multisport event is athletics. In Santiago 2023 it will be held at the "Julio Martínez" coliseum of the Parque Estadio Nacional for the track and field events, as well as at the Explanada de Marte of the Parque O'Higgins for the marathon and race walking events.

To supervise the progress of the organization, the Colombian Julio Roberto Gómez, the international technical delegate of the discipline, was in the country. One of the priorities of the member of the World Athletics Competition Commission is the new track that will be built in the country's main sports venue, supplied by the Italian company Mondo, the same company that hosted the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Oregon 2022 and will host the Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships.

Contrary to other scenarios, this one will be "carpet type," a technique consisting of prefabricated rolls that stretch as opposed to the traditional ones implemented on site as if it were an asphalt mix. "Because of its texture, it has much less abrasion, less friction, which makes it much faster, so it can guarantee a high technical level and the possibility that we’ll find good Pan American records and, why not, some surprises approaching world records or improved ones," indicated Gómez.

The construction of the new athletics track at the coliseum has already begun. The venue will be equipped with first class equipment (picture by: Santiago 2023).


The Pan American Games will be an instance to make qualifying marks for the Paris 2024 Olympics, which promises the presence of a constellation of stars in the Chilean capital such as the Peruvian race walker Kimberly Garcia, the Venezuelan jumper Yulimar Rojas and the runners Anthony Zambrano (400 m), the Dominican Marileidy Paulino (400 m) and the Brazilian Alison dos Santos (400-meter hurdles), in addition to what the always powerful delegations from the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago can bring.

"It’s very difficult to make a projection of qualifiers for the Olympic Games, but I have no doubt that there will be a lot of them. In sprint, I believe that most of the top two in each event will be making the mark for Paris and in throwing events they will also have a very high level, and four or five athletes will easily surpass the Olympic standards," he commented.

Regarding the possibilities of Team Chile in athletics, the experienced athlete pointed out that "they’re very strong in discus and hammer, the boys Gabriel Kehr, Humberto Mansilla and Claudio Romero are doing very well. On the track I saw Martina Weil evolve quite well, she won’t be good enough for a gold medal, but I think she can aspire to be in the medal standings in the 400 m and I think we can dream of putting together a good females 4 x 400 m."

The Colombian Julio Roberto Gómez began as a middle-distance athlete and is currently a member of the World Athletics Competition Commission (picture by: Santiago 2023).


In Santiago 2023, 700 athletes are expected to arrive for the track and field events, as well as another 80 for the marathon and race-walking events. There will be 23 male and 23 female athletes and two mixed events to be carried out during the last week of the competition, from October 30th to November 4th. The road races will be held before that.

"It's complicated and demanding mathematics, so there will be a very high standard in its development, because the best will come, the 10 or 12 best of the American continent in most of the tests and that will guarantee a very high level," indicated Gómez.

The medal events for both genders in Santiago 2023 will be 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1,500 m, 5,000 m, 10,000 m, 110 hurdles (100 for female), 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter hurdles and 4 x 100 m and 4 x 400 m relays; the high, long, triple and pole vault; the shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw; the 20 km walk and marathon, and the combined decathlon for male and heptathlon for female. Meanwhile, two events will be mixed: 4 x 400 m relay and team 35 km race walk.

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