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China sports industry promising, says Italian expert

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BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — Su Bingtian, the Asian men’s 100m record holder, sprinted to the Xi’an Olympic Center Stadium’s finish line on Sept. 21 at China’s 14th National Games.

Representing Guangdong, Su bagged his first-ever title at the National Games in 9.95 seconds.

Behind Su’s dream-come-true is the improvement of Chinese competitive sports strength and the fine-tuning of the construction of sports venues and facilities.

Persisting in opening up, China has introduced advanced technology and talents from all over the world, injecting vigorous impetus into the building of a sports power. China has also paid more and more attention to sports and fitness for all initiatives. An Italian technical expert is a witness.

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Claudio Raimondo is the general manager of Mondo Floorings (China) Co., Ltd, also a technical expert who sent the technical team of Mondo China to supply floorings and technical service to Xi’an Olympic Center Stadium.

Raimondo is very proud that Mondo has been the track, technical, and installation service supplier for Xi’an Olympic Center’s main stadium and warm-up area. “The main stadium got the highest certification by the Class 1 facility certificates of World Athletics and also by the Chinese Athletic Association, achieving the same level of Beijing Olympic Games and World Championships.”

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However, the installation of the track was not so smooth. “We had some challenges about Xi’an Olympic Center Stadium’s track installation. The main challenge has been providing our top-level service and product during such a complicated period due to the pandemic (we are talking about the period from March to June 2020, in that period we had production in Italy and installation in China),” Raimondo said.

In that period, there were many new restrictions: with the rules changing quickly, it required flexibility and availability in the organization by production site in Italy, by the technical team in China and by all Chinese partners for the construction of the track.

“But we did it! We have shown that we can provide the highest level in very special conditions,” Raimondo said.

The 44-year-old Italian has joined Mondo Group in 2005 and relocated to Beijing in 2006 for the startup of the new Mondo factory in China. “For 15 years, I have participated in the surface constructions projects of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2015 Beijing IAAF World Championships, 2023 Nanjing WA Indoor World Championships, etc. And since 2019, I have led the technical team of Mondo China to supply rubber floorings and technical service to ice arenas, such as National Speed Skating Oval, National Ice and Snow Sports Training and Research Base, and Shougang Winter Training Center.”

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Raimondo introduced that for the past 15 years, Mondo sport floorings have been totally installed for more than 80 stadiums and arenas, which are all achieved the level of international competition. And you will also find Mondo in many schools, hospitals, airports, stations, metros and high-speed trains, such as Renmin University, Beijing Daxing Airport, CCTV building or Beijing Metro lines.

“Our best advantage comes from the fact that we have always focused our research on those who use our materials, from children, teenagers, young athletes and professional athletes. This has led us to the continuous development of products and services that seek to enhance and improve the performance of athletes and at the same time to ensure their safety,” Raimondo said, “I believe this is the reason why Mondo has been selected as a supplier for consecutive Olympics, from Montreal 1976 to Tokyo 2020 and many World Championships.”

In Xi’an Olympic Center Stadium, the leader of the installers has been Luigi Ferella, a very experienced Italian installer, who led the track installations of the main track of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2015 Beijing IAAF World Championships, 2022 Hangzhou Asia Games and 2023 Nanjing WA Indoor Championships.

“Through all these years, from what I can see the main change in China is in investing and creating high-quality sports facilities starting from primary schools, this I believe together with an improvement in the teaching system of sports culture starting from children can allow China to continue to grow more and more top-level athletes and perhaps even more important to continue improving the general health of the population,” Raimondo said.

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“In these years, as China has paid more and more attention to civil sports development and national fitness programs, we develop better and better in China. I do believe Mondo will have a very good future in China, and we are willing to support the infrastructures of sport facilities with our experience,” Raimondo said.

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