You have to go all the way back to the European Indoor Championships in Turin in 2009 for the last time Eline Berings reached the podium in a major event but the resurgent Belgian hurdler will be in the medal discussion again in the 100m hurdles at next month’s Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.
Since then, Berings has suffered a litany of injuries - including torn cruciate knee ligaments which forced her to miss the 2016 European Championships and Olympics - but the 32-year-old produced a standout performance on home soil at the Meeting International de la Province de Liege - a European Athletics Outdoor Classic Permit Meeting - on Wednesday (18), winning the 100m hurdles in a lifetime best of 12.72.
That performance represented an improvement of 0.15 on her lifetime best set four years ago and brought her within of 0.01 of Anne Zagre’s national record. In the context of the European Championships, Berings moves to fifth on the 2018 European lists behind Belarusians Alina Talay (12.41) and Elvira Herman (12.64), Germany’s Pamela Dutkiewicz (12.67) and the Netherlands’ Nadine Visser (12.71), although she is not getting carried away.
“I am among the best Europeans this year but I am staying calm. I missed the Belgian record by 0.01 but I hope to beat it in the future,” she told sport.be. Berings will next race in the Monaco Diamond League on Friday night.
There was a Belgian record in the pole vault courtesy of Arnaud Art. His competition began inauspiciously as he needed three attempts to his opening height of 5.37m but he eventually added one centimetre to his national record with a 5.72m clearance to finish second on countback to Poland’s Piotr Lisek.
“It’s cool to have set the record in Liege because I was a young spectator here ten years ago,” he said. “In Berlin my goal will be to challenge the athletes who are at a superior level than mine.”
The Borlee brothers were in action in the 300m but they were upstaged by their relay teammate Robin Vanderbemden who won by a clear distance in 32.44. Jonathan Borlee was the best of the Borlees in second in 32.81 with Dylan and Kevin fourth and sixth in 32.95 and 33.07 respectively.
With Olympic and world heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam a withdrawal, Italy’s Elena Vallortigara won the high jump on countback from Levern Spencer from Saint Lucia at 1.91m.