Chilean athletes choose Iffley Road as Olympic base

Members of the Chilean Olympic track and field team will use Oxford University’s Iffley Road as their training base for the London 2012 Olympics this summer, it has been announced today.

Five Chilean athletes will use the Iffley Road track facility and the surrounding area to prepare for the Games, while staying in College accommodation. They are the second team to choose the University as their base, along with New Zealand’s triathlon team.

Chile’s hopefuls are decathlete Gonzalo Barroilhet, 200 metre sprinter Cristián Reyes, long jumper Daniel Pineda, walker Yerko Araya and Erika Olivera, who will line up against Britain’s Paula Radcliffe and Oxford’s own Mara Yamauchi, in the women’s marathon. Other Chilean athletes may join the five, as the qualification period runs into June.

Jon Roycroft, director of sport at Oxford University, said: ‘We are delighted that the Chilean track and field squad have selected Iffley Road as their training camp. They will train on the iconic Roger Bannister track, which has been specifically named as an official Olympic training facility, by LOCOG.

‘Erika Olivera, Chile’s marathon runner, will no doubt be seen pounding the streets of Oxford in the run-up to the event and we hope to pair her up with one or more of Oxford University’s cross country or long distance runners as training partners.’

The team will stay in Oxford from 2 July to 17 July 2012.