Elise Vanderelst: ‘Hoping to make the semi-final in Tokyo’

For Nafi Thiam and Elise Vanderelst the 19th Meeting International d'Athlétisme de la Province the Liège was an important test in view of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Thiam grabbed the opportunity of the 100m hurdles to complete her last preparatory competition, before travelling to Tokyo to defend her Olympic heptathlon title. Vanderelst improved her speed in the 800m and is hoping to reach the 1500m semi-finals in Tokyo.

“It feels good to be part of the action here, as I live nearby and this is my actual training track”, said Olympic Champion Nafi Thiam. “I feel really good and my preparations for Tokyo are also on track”, added Thiam, who clocked off the 100m hurdles in 13″64. Elise Vanderelst appeared at the start of the 800m. For the European Indoor 1500m Champion her outing to the shorter distance was the ideal injection of speed. With 2’03″96, the Belgian record holder finished the 1500m in fourth place.

“It is still a good time, because the 800m event is definitely not my favourite distance. I can feel that I am in good shape and hope that I can continue that practice until the Olympic Games. I hope that I will reach the 1500m semi-final in Tokyo. That seems to be the highest attainable goal for me, as the competition is fierce”, explained Vanderelst. Next Saturday, the athlete will attack the 1000m Belgian Record at the KBC Nacht in Heusden-Zolder.

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