World class athletes gather in Brussels for 46th edition of Memorial van Damme
The Memorial Van Damme, the most prestigious athletics event in Belgium, returns for its 46th edition. Athletes from all over the world will compete in the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Friday evening.
Several world class athletes will make an appearance in Brussels this year. Highlights include pole vaulting olympic and world champion Mondo Duplantis, heptathlon olympic and world champion Nafi Thiam, 100 metres world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and 200 metres world champion Shericka Jackson.
Kim Gevaert is making her debut as meeting director. The former sprint athlete, who won five gold medals at the Memorial during her career, is looking forward to the event. "I feel a bit like I'm going to run a big championship myself," she said. "It's that same, fun way of experiencing stress. I feel tension and excitement. Basically, we have put on a nice meeting. Now I'm hoping that nothing will go wrong."
The Memorial Van Damme is named after the Belgian athlete Ivo Van Damme, who won two gold medals at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and was killed in a car accident in the same year. It is the penultimate event of this year's Diamond League, a series of global athletic competitions. The league will conclude next week in Zürich, Switzerland.
The King Baudouin Stadium during the 2021 edition of the Memorial Van Damme athletics meeting. - © BELGA PHOTO KRISTOF VAN ACCOM