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Van Damme memorial commemorated

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Belgium Mail issue a set of new stamps on 24 April to mark the 30th anniversary of the Van Damme Memorial Meeting, an annual athletics event which takes place to honor the memory of late athlete Ivo Van Damme.

The young middle distance runner became a national hero in 1976 when he won silver medals in both the 800m and 1500m at the Montreal Olympics. He died tragically five months later at the age of just 22 following a car crash.

The Van Damme Memorial Meeting is now considered one of the most prestigious athletics events of the international season and is one of the six IAAF Golden League meetings.

Five stamps make up the new issue, featuring Van Damme, the two men that beat him in 1976 - Alberto Juantorena and John Walker, and British athletes Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. The two Brits were selected because of the support they gave the meeting in its infancy.

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