15 May, 2019

Rising Stars – Eliott Crestan: “Doha will be difficult, but I’m aiming for a PB”

The AG Memorial Van Damme on Sep., 6th is the last stepping stone ahead of the World Championships in Doha. In our preview of what promises to become an exciting athletics summer we introduce 6 young Belgian athletes who have a chance to qualify for the World Championships. 800m runner Eliott Crestan is last one in this row.

Eliott Crestan is the highly talented 800m runner in Belgium. Last year he was the fastest Belgian athlete on the distance with 1’46”84. He also lowered his own national Junior Record. Crestan is the only Belgian junior so far to have raced sub 1’47” on the distance. He did that during the semifinals of the World Junior Championships in Tampere, Finland. In the final Crestan was battling for the medals until some Britons stumbled and fell on the track. Crestan lost some ground and finished in 4th, after being obstructed by the Algerian Cherrad.

Cherrad was disqualified for his irregular move and therefore Crestan unexpectedly took the bronze medal. It was only the second medal ever by a male Belgian junior, two days after Jonathan Sacoor took fabulous gold in the 400m. “Making it through to the final in Tampere was my main goal for 2018. I wanted to prove that I belong to the top performers in my age group and that is what I did. In my first year as a junior I didn’t succeed to do that in Grosseto and I wanted to rectify that,” says Crestan.

After the World Junior Championships Crestan also took part in the European Championships in Berlin and at the AG Memorial Van Damme. Two incredible experiences for the then only 19 year old athlete.

“After my bronze medal the pressure was gone. In Berlin I learned a lot about what’s going on in Championships and I know now what I have to work on in the coming years. The Memorial was a generous reward for an awesome season. It is really extraordinary to compete in front of a packed stadium. It has certainly motivated me to participate here in the future“, says the 20 year old Crestan.

This winter Crestan was unlucky as he struggled with a stress fracture of the pubic bone. He had to quit from training for quite some time and when he took up training again the injury apparently wasn’t completely healed. To make it to the European U23 Championships and the World Championships in Doha therefore seems out of reach for Crestan. “It was a pity that I couldn’t compete indoors because the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow were possible for me. I took up training again but the European U23 is excluded because my first competition is only scheduled by the end of July, if everything goes according to plan. I will need to change my goals and my focus. If the build up in training continues to be forceful, then it seems possible for me to improve my PB. To qualify for Doha 1’45”80 is required, which is more than a second off my PB. It is very doubtful if I can run that fast after having been sidelined for such a long time. We’ll see how far I can get when I return back to the track”, concludes Crestan.