Reigning World and Olympic Champion pole vault jumping Mondo Duplantis has been one of the big audience favourites in Brussels for a few years. Sweden’s wonder boy – whose World Record is 6m22 – is Meeting Record Holder at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme by jumping over 6m05 in 2021.
Yaroslava Mahuchikh also holds the Meeting Record at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme. The 21 year old Ukrainian High Jumper crossed a bar at 2,05m in 2022 in Brussels, just 4cm shy of the World record. Mahuchikh also crowned herself World Indoor Champion in 2022 and she lives and trains in Belgium since her country fell at war.
“The Memorial feels like a home competition to me. I was very well received in Belgium,” said Mahuchikh on Thursday at a press conference in Brussels where the 47th edition of the Allianz Memorial Van Damme was officially presented. “My ambitions this year lie primarily with the World Championships in Budapest, but I also hope to shine at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme, just like last year.”
Bashir Abdi set a World Best in the 20000m in 2020 at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme. Following that race Abdi performed outstanding in the marathon with Olympic and World Bronze medals in 2021 and 2022 and a European Record in the Rotterdam Marathon. At the Allianz Memorial Van Damme Abdi will attack the National and the European 10000m Record. The National Record is held by Mohammed Mourhit since 2011 with 26:52.30, the European record stands at 26:46.57 and is owned by Mo Farah, who is Bashir Abdi’s friend and training partner.
Besides Duplantis, Mahuchikh and Abdi three other World Class athletes have confirmed for the 47th Allianz Memorial Van Damme. First of all Nafissatou Thiam will again make her appearance. The double World and Olympic Heptathlon Champion will show off in a fully packed stadium in front of her home crowd.
The Allianz Memorial Van Damme welcomes for the first ever time Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone. The American is still only 23, but her record so far is astonishing : reigning World and Olympic 400m Hurdles Champion, double 4 x 400m World Champion, Olympic 4 x 400m Champion and World Record Holder in the 400m Hurdles with 50”68. McLaughlin-Levrone is coached by the already legendary Bob Kersee.
Sixth in the row is Jakob Ingebrigtsen, already a familiar figure at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme. The Norvegian is also only 23 years old and is the Olympic 1500m and the World 5000m Champion. In Brussels Ingebrigtsen competes in the 1500m.