Victory For Camille Laus, Cynthia Bolingo, Thomas Carmoy and Ben Broeders in Liège, Nafi Thiam getting up to speed


Nafi Thiam took advantage of the 21st Meeting International d’Athlétisme de la Province de Liège to finetune her preparation for the World Championships. Pieter Sisk and Camille Laus flirted with Belgian records in the 600 metres, whilst Cynthia Bolingo, Thomas Carmoy and Ben Broeders won their individual events.

The sun came out, as did the crowds descending on the Province Naimette Arena on Wednesday 12 July to watch the athletes at work. And there was hardly time to get bored during a vibrant evening.

Nafi Thiam was one of the top performers at this year’s Meeting International d’Athlétisme de la Province de Liège again. The World and reigning Olympic Champion in the heptathlon competed in the long jump, looking to secure her position ahead of the World Championships in Budapest next month (19-27 August). She finished in second place with a best jump of 6m47 behind Burkinabe athlete Marthe Koala (6m58).

“I was satisfied with my run-up,” Nafi told Tipik on camera. “As a result, the aerial phase was a bit freestyle. I didn’t think too much about it, I was too keen on putting in a good performance. I did have some stress. Lately, I have been experiencing some discomfort in the tendons, but I think we have found a solution. The competition went well, I am happy about that. So, there are plus points and minus points to pay attention to. In any case, it was a great meeting with a great atmosphere and a fantastic crowd, who were close to the action the whole time.”

Ben Broeders recently put in a fine performance at the Wanda Diamond League in Stockholm (5m72), but in Liège the bar stayed a bit lower. However, a jump of 5m42 was enough for the Belgian pole vaulter to win the competition. Thomas Carmoy won the high jump (2m23): our compatriot outperformed Ukrainian and former World Champion Bohdan Bondarenko (2m20).

In the women’s 400m, Cynthia Bolingo impressed with a season-best time of 50.69, her third-best time ever, a perfect confidence boost in the run-up to the World Championships. Liège Paralympian Roger Habsch surprised in the 100m wheeler, finishing second (19.36) behind Remi Kizito (18.24).

Camille Laus (1st in 1’26″27) and Pieter Sisk (5th in 1’16″39) took a shot at the Belgian records in the 600m but fell just short. Sandra Stals (1’25″91) and Joeri Jansen (1’15″35), who ran the BR in Liège 21 years ago, thus remain in the tables.

The Belgian Falcons were looking to qualify for the World Championships in Liège. The Belgian 4x100m relay team, which entered with two teams, failed to improve their current best time (38″73): their times of 39″48 and 42″92 landed them behind Spain (39″06) and Kenya (39″30). However, the battle for a ticket to Budapest is not over yet.

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