Mondo Rubber Tracks and the Mondo Olympics

What would Bob Hayes or Ben Johnson run on today’s new artificial track surfaces?

Mondo has been around since the 1976 Montreal Olympics for Track and Field (Athletics), but Beijing 2008 was the first time using the new Mondotrack.

Like the Speedo LZR swimsuits, the new Mondotrack from Mondo gives sprinters a technological advantage.

We witnessed World Records in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 meter relay. In addition, we saw a Personal Best for Lashawn Merrit in the 400m.

The IAAF has standards for track measurements. It specifies a 400m or 1312.34′ (minimum distance) track, measured along the measure line of lane one, with two curves of equal radius measuring 36.80m and two straightaways measuring 84.39m.

For hardness, the IAAF used to allow a standard between 28 – 80. The lower the number, the harder the surface. Borzov complained about the Munich track being “mushy”. The 1991 World Championships in Tokyo measured 13, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (which no longer exist as a new home for the Atlanta Braves) measured 11. You may recall 6 men going under 10 seconds in Tokyo, and Donovan Bailey and Michael Johnson’s world records in the 100 and 200 meters respectively. At least Seoul 1988 was a respectable 32.

So I’ll ask again: What would Bob Hayes or Ben Johnson run on today’s new artificial track surfaces?

It’s hard to believe Mondo has been around for 60 years. Here is their press release:

Mondo Marks 60th Year With More World Records and Prestigious Installations

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — A 60th birthday is always cause for celebration. Mondo, a global leader in the sports flooring market, reached that milestone in style in 2008 with more world records set on its tracks and more prestigious installations of its track and field surfaces. Now more than 230 world records have been set on Mondo tracks, and more than 1,100 Mondo tracks and more than 800 Mondoturf fields have been installed in athletic venues around the world.

Among the highlights of its 60th year were the five world records set at the Beijing Olympics on Mondotrack, the company’s newest and most advanced track surface. The thrilling track and field competition saw athletes set new marks in the men’s 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100-meter relay, and the women’s pole vault and 3000-meter steeplechase. This was the first Olympics to use Mondotrack but the ninth consecutive Summer Games for which Mondo provided the official track surface.

Mondotrack incorporates the latest advances in track surface technology developed by Mondo; the surface was designed to convert the amount of force generated by athletes’ foot strikes to energy for maximum energy return, which helps athletes achieve faster times compared to running on other surfaces. In addition, the track’s elongated hexagon backing makes the surface more comfortable for training than other tracks, resulting in a perfect blend of speed and safety for the athletes.

Mondotrack’s first U.S. installation was at Arizona State University, which hosted the Pac 10 track and field championships on the surface this year.

Numerous installations followed, including NCAA Division I track programs at the University of Central Arkansas and University of South Florida. Athletic directors and track and field coaches consistently reported that they chose Mondotrack because they found it to be the fastest track on the market today.

Mondo also was proud to complete installation of new tracks at three U.S. military bases in 2008. Fort Bliss (El Paso, Texas), Keesler Air Force Base (Gulfport, Miss.) and Fort Bragg (Fayetteville, N.C.) became the three latest military bases to choose Mondo. The facilities installed Mondo’s Super X track, which has been the world’s top track for more than 30 years and is known for its speed, safety and durability.

Throughout its 60-year history, Mondo has invested heavily in research and development to produce cutting-edge products that deliver optimal athletic performance and are environmentally friendly. That tradition continued in 2008, with the first U.S. installation of an innovative artificial turf called Mondoturf Fine Tuned System 3. The new product replicates the playing performance and characteristics of a natural grass field, produces minimal environmental impact and boasts exceptional safety features. The system’s Fine Tuned Underlayment is an innovative, environmentally friendly solution for using reground rubber tires that also provides a safe surface for athletes.

The first U.S. installation of FTS 3 was completed this autumn at the University of Sioux Falls which will use the field for intercollegiate soccer games and practice.

“As we begin our second 60 years, we look forward to an exciting 2009 with even more prestigious installations worldwide,” said Federico Stroppiana, president of Mondo North and South America. “We also will continue to develop innovative new products that will let athletes perform their best while safeguarding them and the environment, which has been a Mondo commitment from the beginning.”

Founded by Edmondo Stroppiana, whose sons Elio and Ferruccio today are group chairman and managing director, respectively, Mondo remains independent and family-owned. In all, 16 members of the Stroppiana family have had active roles in Mondo’s success.

About Mondo

Mondo is the global leader in the sports flooring market, manufacturing floor surfaces for virtually every sport. More than 1,000 Mondo tracks and 800 Mondo artificial turf fields are installed worldwide.

The official supplier of the athletic track for the past nine Olympic Games, Mondo also is the official supplier or official sponsor of more than 100 sports federations and associations, including FIBA, IAAF, Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, NIRSA, U.S. Track Coaches Association and YMCA.

The company also supplies a wide variety of commercial flooring and is the world’s largest producer of sports and toy balls with an average daily production of 450,000 units. In addition, it manufactures large luxury yachts under its Mondo Marine division
Mondo invests heavily in research and development to ensure its products meet the highest quality standards in the industry, deliver optimal athletic performance, are durable, require minimal maintenance and are environmentally safe.

A family-owned business since its founding in 1948, Mondo’s global headquarters are in Italy. The company has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia and sells its products in more than 196 countries. More information about Mondo is available at

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • Question, if the track gave an edge why didn’t more sprinters run personal best? As with the swim suit they smashed records in that thing.
    In the 100, 200 and 400 only one person stood out with a super fast time. Male or female.

  • I am looking to buy some xmas tree spikes for the new mondo surface recently laid in our club in ireland. finding it a bit very difficult to get 5mm at a proper price so we can distribute them to all our athletes.