40 years old: the first world record at the Memorial Van Damme (video) – Other sports

Sixteen world records have already been set during the Memorial Van Damme. One Sebastian Coe took care of the very first.

3 minutes 47 seconds and 33 hundredths. That was the time it took Sebastian Coe in 1981 to walk a mile in Brussels. It was the third time the Olympic champion in the Moscow 1980 1500 meters – a title he would renew four years later in LA – set the world record on that…

3 minutes 47 seconds and 33 hundredths. That was the time it took Sebastian Coe in 1981 to walk a mile in Brussels. It was the third time that the Olympic champion in the Moscow 1980 1500 meters – a title he would renew four years later in LA – sharpened the world record at that distance. Five years after the first edition, it was the very first world record for the Memorial Van Damme. Fifteen more would follow. Read more under the videoLord Coe, who was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1990, won four Olympic medals during his career and set eleven world records. Legendary were the duels he fought with his compatriot Steve Ovett. Long before Brexit, the two middle-distance runners were already causing discord in Britain. The rivalry reached its peak at the OS in Moscow. In the 800 meters, Coe was surprisingly beaten by Ovett. A deeply disappointed Coe didn’t want to get out of bed until the next day after decathlete Daley Thompson talked him into it. He took revenge in the 1500 meters, the distance that Ovett had not lost for three years. “I was prepared to break my feet until I bleed to beat him,” Coe told The Guardian last year. In 2021, Ovett (65) lives peacefully in Australia. Sebastian Coe, 64, is in his second term as president of the International Athletics Federation IAAF.

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