Kim, Tia and Monder outstanding
Kim Gevaert and Tia Hellebaut have turned the KBC Night into a heyday of Belgian athletics again. In Heusden-Zolder, Kim Gevaert beat a field of world class competitors at the 100m in 11.20 and Tia Hellebaut won the high jump with 2.00m. Monder Rizki surprised at the 5000m with a third place and a personal best of 13.04.06. Paul Kipsiele Koech managed a world year best and a highlight of the evening with 8:00.57 at the 3000m steeple chase.
Strong Gevaert at the 100 meter. (picture belga)
Today's KBC Night of the Athletics aimed at getting as many Olympic selections by Belgian athletes as possible. The weather conditions, however, were not favourable because of the wind and chilly temperatures. Which is why Elodie Ouedraogo for instance only managed 56.58 at the 400m hurdles.

The Borlée twin brothers did not get in fast times either. Kevin Borlée did win the 400m and Jonathan came in second in a field of strong international contenders. In Beijing, Belgium will be able to count on a strong 4 x 400m!

In the 3000m steeple chase Krijn Van Koolwijk and Pieter Desmet were aiming for their ticket for the Olympics for a long time, but the missed out only just. Sigrid Vanden Bempt finished right behind Veerle Dejaeghere in the women's steeple chase, but still did not meet the requirements of the Belgian Olympic Committee. Kevin Rans once more topped 5,60m and finished third in the pole jump, against highly rated international competitors, but he as well did not meet the 5.70m limit.

Monder Rizki brought a Belgian highlight to the evening in the 5k. He easily followed the front runners and at the end even managed a sprint to finish third in a time of 13:04.06, the second best Belgian time at the 5k ever, beter even than Rousseau and Puttemans. Should the BOIC be mild, he ought to be heading for Beijing as well (he has to meet the requirements twice).

Hellebaut topped 2 meter. (picture belga)
Earlier in the evening Kim Gevaert enchanted the entire stadion by winning the 100m in 11.20. Above all, Kim was very happy about the way she beat international top sprinters like Sturrup and Jeter. "Which gives confidence for the next events. Next week, I'm heading for London and next we're off to Beijing." Tia Hellebaut also boosted her confidence by winning the high jump against Nicole Forrester and Chaunte Howard and by being the first in 2008 to top the 2.00m .

The women's relay team is also getting into shape: Olivia Borlée ran the 200m in 23.05, Hanna Mariën in 23.13. Eline Berings finished the 100m in 13.09. Tom Goyvaerts and Thomas Smet confirmed their steadiness in the javelin. Tom finished second with 75.81m, Thomas fourth with 73.58m.

Mimi Belete, who is staying in Belgium as an asylum seeker, finished second in the 1500m in a personal best of 4:07.36, her sister Almensch finished in 4:11.79.

Paul Kipsiele Koech issued the international highlight by winning the 3000m steeple chase in a world year best of 8:00.57. Until the end of the second kilometer Koech was on track for a world record, but he was left to his own to face the wind in the last kilometer .

The 3000m for women ended in a fierce duel between Jennifer Barringer and Anna Willard. Barringer outdid her compatriot's national record by beating her in the sprint in 9:22.73.

In the 800m for men, the Canadian Gary Reed managed a great time and the 5000m again was a top race won by Murat Morafit in 13:02.84. A true salute to the beloved Tom Compernolle, to whom this race was dedicated.

The large audience have again been able to enjoy a spectacular evening filled with top level athletics and several Belgian highlights.
Tom Compernolle memorial and Trophy Paul Eerdekens
At the KBC Nacht Tom Compernolle will be remembered. The 5000 meter will be renamed to the Flemish athlete, who died last month in a tragic car accident.
For Compernolle the KBC Nacht had always been the highlight of his athletics season. He broke several personal bests and managed various limits for world and European championships.

The Trophy Paul Eerdekens will also be awarded, in memory of the man who founded this wonderful event. The Belgian athlete who manages the best performance, based on the Hungarian table, will be awarded the Trophy.
KBC keeps supporting top level athletics
KBC has prolonged its sponsor contract with the Nacht van de Atletiek for another three years, until the 2011 edition. Such was announced by both parties at the presentation of the 2008 edition.
The KBC Indoor meeting in Ghent can count on financial support of the bank as well, until 2009. An option was built into the current agreement to possibly prolong the collaboration until 2011. On a sportive level as well, things will move on in Ghent: under the name of Triatlon there will be a multiple track and fields event scheduled at the meeting.

Organising director Christophe Impens explains: "These races will certainly not be tucked away somewhere in the schedule. We aim to make Triatlon a pr event for the meeting. Tia Hellebaut and Sara Aerts will have to compete with Belgian and foreign women competitors.

The men (Frédéric Xhonneux, Hans Van Alphen and François Gourmet) will also face national and international competition."
Nouvelles précédentes:
17-07-2008 KBC Nacht eyes Beijing
Borlée aiming for national record - Van Branteghem out
World record attempt 3000m steeplechase at KBC Nacht
Edition 2008: 20 July
Meeting Liège