Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 7/28/14
Sport officials in China have built a rectangular running track because they were concerned they wouldn't get a typically oval one finished in time for a Communist Party inspection.The squared-off quarter-mile track was constructed as a part of a major refurbishment of a 10,000 square foot stadium in Tonghe County in the north-eastern Heilongjiang province.With the big-budget project running behind schedule and an inspection by notoriously finicky Communist Party officials imminent, managers made the decision to quite literally cut corners and create a running track with awkward 90-degree bends as they are easier to measure and lay out, reported the Daily Mail.Outside of the glaring rectangle track in the middle, almost everything about the stadium is up to standard — from the the perfectly laid grass in the center of the sports field to the improved seating facilities for spectators.Despite being the butt of many jokes, some experts have raised concerns about the design, saying the corner turns present a risk of serious injury to athletes.One complaint is that it could cause career-threatening muscle damage when competitors hastily slow down to make the sharp turns, while another claims it increases the risk of head collisions."It’s impossible to run on such a surface," said Zhang Yong, a long distance runner, adding that the track was "an abomination" to his profession.
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