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"The Belgacom Memorial Van Damme of 2008 was a commercial and an emotional success. In terms of performance the level was not as high as it was in the previous years." That was the analysis of meeting director Wilfried at a meeting with his organising team.
Kim Gevaert is an ambassador for SOS Children's Villages, a worldwide initiative to help homeless children. The Belgacom Memorial Van Damme supports this initiative and the original painting of Liu Yujun - the wonderful meetingposter of 2008 - has been sold on auction to support the SOS Children's Village in Bukavu (Congo).
Blanka Vlasic won the High Jump at the Golden League-meetings in Berlijn (2.03m), Oslo (2.04m), Rome (2.00m), Paris (2.01m) and Zürich (2.01m). At the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme her share of the Golden Jackpot of $ 1 million dollar lied waiting for her. In a memorable competition Vlasic struggled in despair and lost.
At the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme three meeting records have been set. 9.77 from Usain Bolt in the 100m, 1.55.16 from Pamela Jelimo in the 800m and 14.25.43 from Vivian Cheruiyot in the 5000m are the best ever performances in those events in the 32 years of BMVD history.
On Tuesday, organising director Wilfried Meert and sports journalist Maarten Michielssens have luanched their book on the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme.
Probably Usain Bolt ran his lifetime best 100m at the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme. In the start Bolt lost about 6 hundredts of a second and the headwind cost him another 8 hundredts. With 9.77 Bolt ran a mere 8 hundredths of a second outside the world record that he set in Beijing.
In every possible aspect, the 32nd edition of the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme was a golden one. After celebrating the Belgian Olympic athletes, Kim Gevaert won her last race, Usaine Bolt only just beat Asafa Powell in the 100m and Pamela Jelimo reeled in the jackpot.
One of the main features at the Memorial was the Jamaican top duel between Olympic champion Usaine Bolt and Asafa Powell. Bolt won in 9.77 thanks to an ultimate accelaration.
Kim Gevaert concluded her career in a full Koning Boudewijn stadiun with a victory at the 100 meter. "Taking a home win is of course the most fantastic end you can imagine", the Belgian smiled.
From 19u onwards the Belgacom Memorial Van will start. We're already looking forward to the performances by Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Kim Gevaert and Tia Hellebaut. Follow the entire Memorial LIVE here!
The Belgacom MVD welcomes no less than 14 Olympic champions next Friday. Usain Bolt, the absolute star of the Games in Beijing tops the bill in Brussels. The Jamaican won three gold medals and broke three world records in the Chinese capital.
As is the tradition in the run-up to the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme a fashion show was held with the athletes as models. Take a look at the pictures and sample the atmosphere via Belgacom Memorial Van Damme TV.
The Belgacom MVD top 20 of all times proves that the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme simply is the best athletics event in the world.
Edition 2008