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International Island Games Association visit Lathbury Sports Complex

Members of the International Island Games Association, led by Chairman Jorgen Pettersson, yesterday visited the Island Games sites across Gibraltar.

The Island Games organising committee Chairperson Linda Alvarez, accompanied by Minister for Sports Steven Linares, the IIGA had a first glimpse at the sites including the swimming pool and athletics track at Lathbury Sports Complex.

The site itself is still being finalised for ‘Games-Ready’ completion.

Painting of the lanes on the athletics track had already begun although slightly delayed from making its July 4 deadline.

The track was still due to be handed over for use with the lines for the lanes still needing to be painted.

Athletes will have to wait until Saturday before they can make use of the track when at 1pm it will be inaugurated by Minister for Sport Steven Linares with the GAAA organising a 400m race for the day.

“There is still some tweaking to do,” said GAAA President Frank Carreras.

Mr Carreras pointed to the fact that the lanes had as yet not been painted in and that there were still areas to complete before the track could be used.

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The home advantage which usually is associated to hosting an event had been lost with local athletes now only able to start using the track at the same time as visiting athletes due to the delay.

The delegation was also shown around the swimming pool where they were met with a finished swimming pool area ready for use.

The pool that had been filled up during the past few days had now been sectioned into two 25m areas, with the lanes already in place.

Although works were taking place around the seats the area had been cleaned and made ready for use with swimmers already using it since Wednesday evening.

Local swimming officials at the swimming pool highlighted their satisfaction at the work that had already been completed and were looking forward its final completion after the games.

The swimming pool had been one of the main concerns throughout the construction process of the venue with the pool not expected to have been finished on time.

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The area surrounding the main complex had yet to be cleared with a lot of working material and construction debris from the works taking place.

Meshing was being erected around the exterior of the complex through which the delegates were being shown around.

With the Games officially opening on Saturday, and most sports opening their competitions on Sunday workers now had just a couple of days in which to complete the clean up operations.

One worker recalled how they had been working “twelve hour days, seven days a week during the past two months” to complete the work required for the sporting events to take place in the coming days.

One official also pointed out that the work is not yet finished it will look great once it has been completed.

The sites although not completed had been made “Games-Ready for the Island Games”.

Mr Linares said he was satisfied with the progress that had been made and that all the venues would be ready for use this weekend, even though some clearing up was required in some areas.

Pics by Johnny Bugeja