New stadium’s running track in Tonghe is now known worldwide for the authorities’ unusual decision to make no curves. This was an effort to prepare the stadium faster for a Communist Party visitation. Now it’s impossible to run there.
In China’s scale Tonghe is a really small town, roughly around 100,000 people. Despite its size and remote location in the north-east, it made global headlines in recent days. This unexpected attention came as one of local projects was delivered, a brand new stadium.
It was constructed as part of a major reorganization of the town and was delivered just in time for regional Communist Party visit. There’s only one quirk: to avoid falling behind schedule with finishing works, workers painted a much more simple running track, without any curves at all.
All turns are at right angle, which makes it almost impossible to run distances longer than 100 meters. Reporter for one of Heilongjiang TV stations tried to take a turn and had to nearly stop in the corner, proving the obvious in an amusing way.
The problem isn’t serious itself, because the red surface provides all curves, it’s only a matter of drawing proper lines onto it. However, the Tonghe Forestry, Culture and Sports Center Stadium employees aren’t sure what they should do.
“In order to get it ready for the leaders, we painted it like that. We think it is ugly too but if the leaders don’t ask us to change it, what are we supposed to do?” a stadium official asks, quoted by Sina.