Track & Field

Throwback Thursday: Ivo Van Damme

So last week was the final Diamond League Meet of the season, the Brussels edition. It is officially known as the Memorial Van Damme. Many of you may have never heard of Ivo Van Damme.

Most of you have heard of Prefontaine, most of you have heard of Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe.

Prefontaine died young, Ovett and Coe went on to destroy World Records and dominate middle distance in the late 70s and early 80s, but one man could have challenged their stranglehold. Ivo Van Damme, the Belgian phenomenon, who won double silver in the 1976 Olympics.

Van Damme was killed in a car accident in late 1976, only months after his incredible second places in the 800m, behind Alberto Juantorena and the 1500m behind John Walker. Van Damme was only a year older than Ovett and beat him well in Montreal.

A 1.43 performer, Van Damme could have been the one to halt incredible British success of that era.

Trailblazer: Niall O'Shaughnessy will be posthumously inducted into the Southwest Hall of Fame in November. Image: Arkansasrazorbacks.com
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Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan is an athlete, coach, athletics fan and, most importantly, was once named Bandon AFC's under-12 Player of the Year. He was once a promising athlete but is now a promising coach, teacher and part-time athletics writer/broadcaster. While an 800m runner himself, Ronan has coached everything from pole vault to 10km with varying levels of bluffing. He has regularly been threatening to do something for years but is yet to deliver. He is regarded as our expert on the American running scene, though has yet, to prove his knowledge in this realm.

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