An important date in your agenda
Here we are with the 20th edition of Atletissima Namur, a meeting organised by SMAC (Sambre et Meuse Athletics Club) Namur that has now been one of the top events in the athletics calendar for almost two decades.
First established in 1996 with the backing of the local and regional authorities, Atletissima Namur, its name a play on the French words “Athlétisme à Namur”, has grown in stature from year to year on the EAP circuit (Europe Athlétisme Promotion).
The meeting is a must for athletes chasing qualifying times and standards for the big international meetings.
The timing of the meeting at the end of May makes it ideal for the top athletes in Belgium, including the cream of French-speaking Belgium, and for many other athletes from Europe trying to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio, the European Championships and the World Junior Championship.
A meeting with style
In 2008 Atletissima marked the start of the Olympic dream of the Belgian men’s 4x400m relay team. Since then they have the whole country holding their breath every time they run at world events. It was in Namur that this national team, led by the Borlée twins Kevin and Jonathan, first broke onto the international scene and qualified for the Beijing Olympics.
Last year, two European bests and a Danish National record saw the meeting make the headlines despite the adverse weather conditions.
The Belgian U23 4x400m relay team also qualified for the U23 European championships in Tampere (Finland), and came home with a silver medal.
After an indifferent season last year, Adrian Deghelt, the leading athlete from organising club, and a 110m hurdles semi-finalist at the London Olympics, hopes to book his ticket to the European Championships, and the date of 28 May fits in perfectly with his efforts to achieve his goals for the season.
Several of his fellow athletes from the home club also hope to put in sparkling performances on their local track.
Atletissima Namur also provides an opportunity for young athletes from athletics clubs around the country, and in particular the Province of Namur, to take part in this great celebration of athletics, where Sambre meets Meuse, via “KIDS Athletics”.
Meeting as an expression of solidarity
Alone in the region, this meeting has been linked since 2006 with “Amis de Perce-Neige” (Friends of Snowdrop), and every cent of the ticket money (€ 5) will go to this organisation, which is well-known in the Namur area for the care of people with multiple disabilities.
A veritable shop window for athletes
Atletissima Namur showcases the town of Namur and the region of Wallonia, putting them both on the international athletics map in Europe.
Its fame within athletics circles makes it a veritable shop window for the best Belgian and in particular local athletes to show what they can do.
With stiff international competition the meeting provides them with an ideal springboard for the top national and international meetings in 2014.
A warm welcome awaits you all on May 25 here in Namur.