Memorial Van Damme - Belgacom

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2004
Even though organised right after this year's Olympics, the 28th Memorial Ivo Van Damme was of a high sporting level. Two new world records were established.

The event of the night was performed by Saif Shaheen at the 3000m steeple. The 21 year old from Qatar quite quickly took the lead. He didn't slow down and wiped the previous world record by the Moroccan Brahim Boulami, 7'53"84 is the new record. The Russian Yelena Isinbayeva broke the pole vault world record as well. She improved on her Olympic record and reached 4m92.

Earlier that night the men's 100m was a spectacle as well. Favorite Shawn Crawford was beaten by the Jamaican Asafa Powell. With 9"88, he also established a new meeting record. The Kenyan Edith Masai did the same at the 5000m for women. And then the world record of Shaheen at the steeple gave the Memorial an unforgettable aura.

Another world year's best was made by the Kenian Kenyan Kipchoge at the 3000m. At the men's 800m a motivated Joeri Jansen ran a personal season's best. The best Belgian athlete at the Memorial was yet again sprinter Kim Gevaert. Even though not in the best form, the enthousiast audience pushed her towards winning the 200m with a sharp 22"58.

The men's 200m had a great winner as well. The veteran Frank Fredericks won in 20"21. However, some top athletes didn't live up to the expectations. Felix Sanchez got injured in his 400m and the South African Hestrie Cloete only came in second at the high jump. Both athletes will not enjoy their shar in this year's Golden League's jackpot.

Because Olympic champion Hicham El Gerrouj cancelled at the very last moment, Bernard Lagat took the favourite role at the 1500m, but was beaten by the young Kiptanui. Only triple jumper Christian Olsson and 400m runner Tonique Williams-Darling are still able to take the gold in Berlin next weekend.

The world's best Bekele and Gebreselassie, both from Ethiopia, did not take the start of the 10000m. Yet, Abdullah Hassan from Qatar closed a great Memorial Ivo Van Damme with a sharp 26'59"55.
















 
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