Time ticks out for Istanbul ’12

Time ticks out for Istanbul ’12

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Time ticks out for Istanbul ’12

With only 106 days left to the World Indoor Championships in Athletics, host city Istanbul is yet to complete its venue. The roof and four walls of the Ataköy Athletics Arena are still under construction, according to a report by daily Hürriyet. AA photo

Turkey risks losing its host status for the World Indoor Championships in Athletics because the Ataköy Athletics Arena has yet to be completed, the daily Hürriyet reported.

The Ataköy Athletics Arena was planned to host the March 9-11, 2012 event, but its roof and four walls are still under construction.

The daily wrote yesterday that the arena, which was supposed to be opened this week for test events, was still a construction area.

Test events called off

The test events were canceled, and next month’s second preparation sessions are likely to meet the same fate. The earliest date the arena could be opened is in January 2012 for the Turkish Athletics Championships, Hürriyet reported. The original venue for the championships was Sinan Erdem Dome, but it was turned into a basketball venue. Construction for the basketball championship started in 2009 with a planned finish date of Aug. 15. The report said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was concerned about the situation and suggested it might hurt Istanbul’s chances of bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games.

However, the Turkish Athletic Federation (TAF) rejected reports that the tournament was in danger. “The construction of the facilities is being monitored frequently,” a statement from TAF said. “The roof of the building will be laid by Jan. 20.”

Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç also released a statement on the issue. “Turkey is a country that has successfully hosted many sporting events. Everything will be done to finish the facilities on time even though the time is tight.”