Berlin competition flair for Sydney


The "Games of the 27th Olympiad" – to use their official name – were held in Sydney in 2000. The ecological concept of the "Green Games" was formulated in close collaboration with Greenpeace and is regarded as pioneering even today. Two full sized tracks in Sydney Olympic Park have now been given new Rekortan synthetic surfaces from Polytan so that top-flight international athletics meetings can continue to be held in this iconic Australian sporting hub in the future. The operators opted for a Hertha blue with Light grey colour scheme. This combination found fame when it was used for the first time in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and has since met with strong approval worldwide as well.
The geographic centrepiece of the Olympic Games in Sydney was the 760 ha Olympic Park in Homebush Bay on the outskirts of the city, with numerous new sports facilities for over half of the 28 disciplines. This included two hockey pitches, which were originally installed with Polytan Poligras synthetic turf in 1999 and upgraded in 2008 prior to the Women’s Champion Trophy event. The upgraded unfilled system was installed with a green playing field and a golden yellow border.
The site is still a popular sports and recreation area that is appreciated by amateur and professional athletes in equal measure. The same goes for the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre as part of the Olympic Park. Having been used by the Olympians to prepare for their competitions during the Olympiad itself, it is now one of the main venues for athletics meetings in the Asia-Pacific region. Important events such as the Australian Athletics Championships and the Sydney Track Classic are held in the Competition Arena, a small stadium with a covered stand for 5,000 spectators. The cable-stayed bridge design of the roof was the first of its kind in Australia and is a real eye-catcher. Additional seating for 8,000 people is provided in the Competition Arena by grassed banks. The floodlighting, a 7.00 x 6.00 m video screen and the 9 lane track with 12-lane main straight IAAF Class 1 certified track round off the high-quality features of this facility.
As well as the Competition Arena, the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre has the Warm Up Arena, another sports field with a circular track. Floodlights, a covered pergola-style stand and, once again, grassed banks allow around 1,000 spectators to follow the action at close quarters here.
The circular track in the Competition Arena and its counterpart in the Warm Up Arena were both given a new base from Polytan between October 2015 and February 2016. The water-impermeable, multi-layered solid synthetic Rekortan M99 surface, a product marketed in Europe under the name Polytan PUR, was installed. Good acceleration and optimum player comfort properties are features of this sports surface, as are high abrasion resistance and excellent suitability for running shoes with spikes thanks to EPDM granules interspersed in the wear layer.
In addition to this, the original classic brick red in both athletics facilities was swapped for blue lanes with sections of light grey. This colour combination became world famous thanks to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, which received the gleaming new colours during renovation work in 2004. This was done at the request of Berlin’s top-flight football club Hertha BSC, which plays its home matches at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and whose club colour matches the intense blue of the track.
Picture credits:
"Photography, Delly Carr, Courtesy of Sydney Olympic Park Authority."

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