Hellebaut among the highlights in Heusden | 09.07.2010
|High Jump star Tia Hellebaut, who is on the comeback
trail following the birth of her child last year, will
compete at the KBC-Nacht meeting in the Belgian town
of Heusden-Zolder on Saturday.
The 2008 Olympic Games and 2006 European Athletics Championships gold medallist had her first meeting in Madrid last Friday and cleared a more-than-respectable 1.95m, just 10 centimetres below her best, in very difficult conditions.
“This was a good start for my first competition in nearly two years. The technique felt quite good because you never really lose it. My aim is still just to jump as high as possible this season. I haven’t set any specific targets although I would be very pleased if I could finish in the first three, maybe five, at the European Athletics Championships,” said Hellebaut.
“The rest last year when I had my daughter Lotte seems to have done my body good. I don’t seem to be suffering from so many slight injuries, even from my Achilles which has often caused me problems in the past,” she added.
On home soil, and in front of thousands of cheering fans, she will face Germany’s 2009 European Athletics Indoor Championships gold medallist Ariane Friedrich as well as another German Maike Kröger and the Ukraine’s Vita Styopina, all of whom have personal bests of two metres or higher.
Eline Berings, the 2009 European Athletics Indoor Championships 60m hurdles gold medallist, clocked a wind-assisted personal best of 12.84 at the SPAR European Team Championships First League in Budapest last month to show that she is in good shape and she will be hoping for calmer conditions in a bid to improve her national record of 12.94.
Also in the field is Berings’ rapidly improving compatriot Elisabeth Davin. The Belgian pair will face the good Americans Damu Cherry and Kellie Wells.
There will also be a strong women’s 200m with Elodie Ouedraogo, Hanna Marien and Olivia Borlee up against Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova, who is still the second fastest European ever over 100m.
The organisers have also put on a special men’s 4x400m to put the home team through their paces as Belgium will go to the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona later this month.
Among those tuning up will be Jonathan Borlee, who will arrive in Heusden fresh from his European-leading run of 44.94 in Lausanne on Thursday night.