Memorial Van Damme: Athletics champions aim to break world records in Brussels
The Roi Baudouin stadium will host the 47th Memorial Van Damme on Friday evening, with 12 world athletics champions taking part.
Among the stars competing in Brussels will be Sweden's Armand Duplantis in the pole vault, Jamaica's Shericka Jackson in the 200m, the Netherlands' Femke Bol in the 400m hurdles, Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the 2000 and Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh in the high jump.
The Diamond League meeting is the annual high point of Belgian athletics. A new faster track surface, recently inaugurated, should provide ideal conditions for athletes in search of new records.
Jackson will be looking to break a nearly 35-year-old record in the 200m (21.34) after coming within a whisker of the record at last month's World Championships in Budapest.
Ingebrigtsen, Olympic champion in the 1500m, is targeting the world record in the 2000m. With Duplantis competing, a new pole vault world record is also on the cards.
21 Belgian athletes
Despite the absence of Brussels crowd favourite Nafi Thiam, Belgium will bring 21 athletes to the competition. Bashir Abdi will aim for a Belgian record (26:52.30) and a European record in the 10000m.
Ben Broeders will be looking to set a national record in the pole vault against Duplantis. Rani Rosius will run the 100m and Delphine Nkansa will challenge world champion Jackson in the 200m. Elise Vanderlest (1500m), Hanne Claes (400m hurdles) and Noor Vidts (long jump) will also be competing on home soil.
The Memorial Van Damme is the penultimate meeting of the Diamond League, which will be followed by the final in Eugene, USA, on September 16 and 17. In Brussels, the men will compete in five events - 200m, 400m, 800m, 2000m and pole vault - and the women in 10 - 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m and 5000m, 400m hurdles, high jump, triple jump, shot put and javelin.
Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis at the 2022 Memorial Van Damme © BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR