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Ivo Van Damme Biography
Ivo Van Damme (February 21, 1954 December 29, 1976) was a Belgian middle distance runner.

Van Damme was born in Brussels. He played football until he was 16, but then switched to athletics. His breakthrough came in 1973, when he placed fourth in the Junior World Championships in the 800 m.

He suffered from mononucleosis the following season, but returned strong. In 1976, he won the European indoor title over 800 m, and was one of the favourites for a medal at 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. There, he placed second in both the 800 and 1500 m, finishing behind Alberto Juantorena and John Walker, respectively.

It were his last successes, as Van Damme was killed in a car accident while travelling home from southern France. Since 1977, a memorial competition has been held in Brussels to remember him, the Ivo Van Damme Memorial. It has become one of the major track and field meets of the season.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Ivo Van Damme.