Gold medallist bears Belgian flag in closing ceremony

25th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

High jumper Tia Hellebaut who won the only gold medal for Belgium on Saturday carried the flag during the closing ceremony in Bejing.

25 August 2008

BEIJING -- The Olympic Games in China have officially come to an end, with Belgian gold medallist Tia Hellebaut carrying the flag during the closing ceremony in Beijing

High jumper Hellebaut won gold for Belgium on Saturday with a jump of 2'05". The Olympic champion, 30, has announced that she will not defend her title in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Runners Kim Gevaert, Olivia Borlée, Hanna Mariën and Elodie Ouedraogo won silver in the 4x100m relay final with a time of 42.54 - a Belgian record.

The Belgian men's 4x400 metres relay race team ended fifth in the final, also breaking a Belgian record.

And the Belgian Red Devils football team just missed the bronze- coming in fourth after a 0-3 loss to Brazil.
Belgians in the top 8

Apart from Tia Hellebaut and the ladies in the 4x100m relay Belgians were in the top 8 in 10 other events.

1st : Tia Hellebaut                                            High Jump
2nd : Relay team (f)                                          4x100 metre
4th : Iljo Keise/Kenny De Ketele                    Team race
4th : Tim Maeyens                                            Rowing
4th : Football team (m)                                    Football
5th : Relay team (m)                                        4x400 metre
5th : Dirk Van Tichelt                                        Judo
7th : Brian Ryckeman                                      Swimming
7th : Ilse Heylen                                                Judo
8th : Mario Aerts                                                Cycling
8th : Christophe Raes/Bart Poelvoorde       Doubles rowing
8th : Evi Van Acker                                            Sailing

Truly exceptional Games
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge (Belgian) declared the Beijing Games closed on Sunday.

"You have shown us the unifying power of sport," he told competitors packed into the National Stadium.

"The Olympic spirit lives in the warm embrace of competitive rivals from nations in conflict. Keep that spirit alive when you return home.

"And now, in accordance with tradition, I declare the Games of the XXIX Olympiad closed, and I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in London to celebrate the Games of the XXX Olympiad."

Tia Hellebaut: a biography
Date of Birth: 16/02/1978
Place of Birth: Antwerp
Nationality: Belgian
Height: 1'82
Coach: Wim Vandeven
Sport/discipline: track and field: High Jump and Long Jump

Honours (some of them):
High Jump
XXIX Olympics: 1st (2.05 - Beijing, 2008)
29th European Indoor Championships: 1st (2.05 - Birmingham,2007)
World Championship: 14th (1.90 - Osaka, 2007); 6th (1.93 - Helsinki, 2005)
European Athletics Championships: 1st (2.03 - Götenborg, 2006)
World Indoor Championships: 1st (Valencia, 2008); 5th (Budapest, 2004)
World Championships: 14th (Edmonton, 2001)
World Championships in Athletics: 7th (Paris, 2003)
Trophy for Sports' Woman of the year 2006 together with Kim Gevaert.

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