Zagré, Thiam and Kevin Borlée take victory in Liège

The 20th edition of the Meeting International d'Athlétisme de la Province de Liège took place in the summer heat of Wednesday evening. The spectators at the Province Naimette Arena witnessed victories for Anne Zagré, Nafi Thiam and Kevin Borlée, among others.

The meeting started with the 100 metres hurdles for women. In the absence of Nafi Thiam – who was absent due to tired legs after the Belgian Championships – it was Anne Zagré who provided the spectacle and the first Belgian victory of the evening. She won in 13.09 with a slightly adverse wind (-0.2 m/s), ahead of Germany’s Marlene Meier (13.49) and Japan’s Tamaoki Nanako (13.55).

Nafi Thiam reassured everyone, however, and received an ovation from the entire stadium later in the evening. She took her momentum on the new track of the Province Naimette Arena to win the high jump competition with a leap over 1m91. Thiam made it ahead of Estonia’s Elisabeth Pihela (1m86). Claire Orcel finished fourth (1m81).

Also encouraging was Robin Vanderbemden’s second place in the 200 metres (20.83) behind Cameroonian Emmanuel Eseme, winner in 20.62. Vanderbemden later joined Jordan Paquot, Simon Verherstraeten and Kobe Vleminckx in winning the 4x100m in 39.48. The Belgian Falcons will try to get closer to the European top 16 this summer.

In the 400 metres, one of the three Borlées was bound to win, and he did. In the end, Kevin (46.10) won ahead of Dylan (46.18). Dutchman Pim Van Bakel took third place. Jonathan Borlée suffered bad luck that evening and injured his hamstrings, he retired after 350 metres. Further examination must provide clarity about the seriousness of the injury.

In the women’s race, South African Miranda Coetzee (52.07), the African champion, came out on top in the track race. Our compatriot Helena Ponette finished second with a very encouraging time of 52.25 in her first summer race of the season.

Briton Miguel Perera triumphed in the 110m hurdles with 13.64, a time close to his personal record. Our compatriot Nolan Vancauwemberghe improved his personal record by 11 hundredths to 13.85, good for a fifth place.

In the women’s 100 metres, Rani Rosius had to settle for second place. She finished two hundredths of a second behind Luxembourg’s Patrizia Vanderweken (11.44).

In the 600 metres, Eliott Crestan had to settle for fifth place in a race that was rocked by three athletes falling, fortunately without serious injuries. The race was won by Australian Peter Bol in 1:16.04 ahead of Kenyan Cornelius Tuwei (1:16.64).

Ukrainian double in high jump

In the men’s high jump competition, Thomas Carmoy (2m23) took third place. Ukrainian Andrey Protsenko, who has a personal record of 2m40, won by jumping over 2m26 ahead of his compatriot Oleh Doroshchuk. The Netherlands was victorious in the pole vault thanks to Rutger Koppelaar. The ‘Flying Dutchman’ triumphed with 5m61. Arnaud Art came second with 5m41.

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