With a world record at the 4x800m, a world year best at the 5000 and the 10000 meter and great victories from home players Tia Hellebaut and Kim Gevaert the Memorial Van Damme has got a wonderful 30th edition!

The Memorial in pictures 

Tia Hellebaut. (picture photonews)
The first great moment of the event came really early, during the warming up programme. Micah Kogo issued a world year best at the 10k. The 20 year old's 26:35.63 is quite an improvement to the 27:10.51 by the Kenian Martin Mathati on 23 april in Kobe. Zersenay Tadese from Eritrea finished second in 26:37.25, Boniface Kiprop from Uganda third in 26:41.95.

The Ethiopean world record holder Meseret Defar and her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba turned the 5k for women into a great battle. Dibaba made it in a great time of 14:30.65 and has won her fifth Golden League meeting, after Oslo, Parijs, Rome and Zürich.

Just like Sanya Richards (400m), Jeremy Wariner (400m) en Asafa Powell (100m) Dibaba is already sure to share the 500.000 dollar jackpot for athletes who have won their event five times. Should she win a sixth time, next week in Berlin, they will share another 500.000 dollar jackpot for athletes who won their event in all six Golden League meetings.

Powell tried to break the world record, but got stuck at 9.99 after missing out on his start. The Belgian European champion Kim Gevaert won the 200m in 22.68. Debbie Ferguson was second in 22.93. Earlier in the evening the other Belgian European champion Tia Hellebaut had already won the high jump at 1m98.


The greatest moment of the evening was the 4x800m for men. Four Kenian athletes (Joseph Mutua, William Yiampoy, Ismael Kombich and Wilfred Bungei) finished in 7:02.43 and broke the world record of 7:03.89. That time already stood since 1982 when a British team consisting of Peter Elliott, Gary Cook and the legendary duo Steve Cram and Sebastian Coe. The Kenians also made the WR the eleventh in 30 year Memorial Van Damme!

In the 5000 for men, Kenenisa Bekele tried to improve his own world record, but the Ethiopean finished in a time of 12:48.09. Not a disappointment at all, as it was the second world year best of the evening.

The audience favorite Yelena Isinbayeva tried to conclude the 30th Memorial Van Damme with a new world record in pole vaulting, but she failed three times at 5m03. The Olympic champion still won the event at 4m81.

Relive the Memorial minute by minute 

Take a look at the results