The Allianz Van Damme Memorial: A field day in Brussels


E95QOsUX0Ao7--q.jpgMondo Duplantis, photo by Diamond League AG

SREE2894.JPGYaime Perez, photo by Diamond League AG

The Allianz Ivo Van Damme Memorial was a huge success. Stuart Weir wrote 3 pieces on the meet for us today, this is the first of the 3.

A field day in Brussels

The Memorial Van Damme, Wanda Diamond League meet in Brussels has lost its status but you would never have known. Previously Brussels hosted part one of the Diamond League final. This year the finals are a 2-day event in Zurich. But with many places in the finals still up for grabs, there was some highly competitive action on the track and in the field.

The competition started the previous night - the night of the discus, with a men's and women's competition being held in a park by the lake. Yaimé Perez (Cuba) threw furthest with 66.47 and then confirmed her victory in the top three throw-offs defeating Valarie Allman and Sandra Perkovic. In the men's event, Daniel Stahl (Sweden) won with 69.31 from Fedrick Dacres and Kristjan Ceh.

Mondo Duplantis won the men's pole vault with his customary six-meter clearance - 6.05m, but only at the third attempt with Christopher Nilsen second and KC Lightfoot third, both on 5.85m.

The women's high jump featured the three medalists from Tokyo but finishing in a different order in a high-quality competition in which all three cleared 2 m. Yaroslava Mahuchikh won with 2.02m from Mariya Lasitskene and Nicola McDermott who both cleared 2.00 m exactly - but not before all three ladies had attempted and failed at 2.04m. If you enjoyed Tokyo and Brussels, the good news is that they are at it again next week in Zurich. The winner commented "Today was perfect. The conditions were so good, the crowd was amazing they were so loud and were cheering for everyone. I had such an amazing time and I try to enjoy myself for every jump. I´m the happiest when I can jump and then, to win here is a great feeling".

Nicola McDermott, whose mom is Croatian and who was originally inspired by watching Blanka Vlasic, was thrilled to get a tip from the queen of high jumps: "Jumping 2m again feels so great. It was also inspiring to see Mariya and Yaroslava jump over 2m. I won here last year with no crowd, so to perform here with an enthusiastic crowd was wonderful. I loved them."

"I got the chance to talk to Blanca Vlasic here right after my competition. She told me that I should try to attack my jump more aggressively in order to jump higher. I really appreciate her advice because she was and still is my biggest inspiration. It was the first time I met her. That makes today even better than it already was".

In the men's long jump. Steffin McCarter opened with 7.93 and then had a foul two passes and a 5.94 before producing 7.99 to win the jump-off.

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