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Wow. Just wow. This last weekend we saw many incredible performances from our Gauls at the national championships in Apeldoorn, which took place from Friday to Sunday.
On Friday, Maaike was the first Gaul scheduled to run. In the heats of the 400m, she secured a spot for the semi-finals later that day with a time of 59.97s. Everyone decelerates during the final stretch of the 400m, but Maaike seems to do a better job of maintaining her rhythm than her fellow competitors. A great start to a great championship for Asterix!
Next up was Jens in the 800m. After a fast opening lap, the initial leader started to drop back during the final 100m. Unfortunately, the race was a meter or so too short for Jens to catch him. He ran 1.50.12, missing out on the final by 0.07s. He was still satisfied though. This was a big improvement on both his personal best and the club record which was previously held by René Peeters (A relative indeed! It’s his uncle) and had stood for 31 years.
The Asterix meme page is renown for its high quality memes with a link to Asterix! After seeing Jens’s 800m time, Domingos was very quick to make a meme about it:
We also had a 400m hurdler competing! Bjorn ran 57.29s, slicing 0.28s of his old PB of 57.57s. Great work! It was clear that Bjorn really pushed himself. After the race he was really tired, which of course is by no means a surprise! Fortunately he could get some well-deserved rest.
Maaike was also a bit of a two-lap runner this day, as she now had to run twice. The funny thing with getting through your heat is that you’re rewarded by being given the chance to torment yourself another time! Still feeling her legs from the heats, Maaike managed a time of 60.92. We’re very proud of this Gaul for making the semi-finals on the national stage!
The next day there was a race we’d all be looking forward to: the heats of the 1500m in which Casper was set to run! In his heat was a 2.13.03 marathon runner (Remarkable, I know) who took the early lead and made sure the pace was steady. Casper’s last lap was very impressive, resulting in a time of 3.44.47 and a spot in the final! This time was also another PB and club record, making it the third time he breaks his own 1500m record this season. What a beast!
We didn’t only have runners at the nationals. On Sunday, our current Athlete of the Month Oscar got the chance to show his strength in the shot put. In his first attempt he threw 13.17m, showing his consistency of this season when it comes to throwing 13m+.
What’s his secret behind these performances? Consistent training undoubtedly helps, but athletes who want to improve themselves are also encouraged to visit Tony’s Wok! Both Oscar and Jens (Thanks Ramon for the sambal!) did this on Wednesday, with excellent results.
Anyways, back to business. On Sunday, it was time for the 1500m final! Casper raced smartly by choosing a position on the inside, towards the back of the pack. This way he evaded the justling and wasted less energy. Just like in his other races this season, Casper had a strong finish. Overtaking multiple competitors in the final 500m, he managed to become 7th! Casper was called ‘De kleine man van Asterix’ (The little man from Asterix) by the guy from the livestream earlier this season, but his performances are certainly not small! All Gauls should have a look at this exciting race.
All in all, the national championships were a big success for our association. Next week is the 3rd national competition meet in Nijmegen. We’re sure to see many more good results there!
Written by Jens