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Nafi Thiam sets Golden Spike record

Heptathlon star Nafi Thiam has received the Golden Spike award as Belgium's Athlete of the Year. In the men's category, long-distance runner Bashir Abdi had the honour. The awards were bestowed upon the winners in Sint-Truiden yesterday. 

It's Thiam's 7th consecutive win, an all-time record. The former sprinter Kim Gevaert had 6 wins. Thiam took the heptathlon silver at the World Championships this year, as she was beaten by Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Thiam, who is still nursing an elbow injury, advanced 400 metres runner Cynthia Bolingo, who set a new Belgian indoor record in Glasgow. 

Bashir Abdi received his first Golden Spike and was very eager to collect his trophy from the Flemish Sports Minister Ben Weyts, running to the stage. Shining on the stage, he said "it's a real honour for me".

Bashir Abdi ran to the stage to collect his first Golden Spike trophy

Abdi broke the Belgian marathon mark on two occasions this year, first in London and in later also in Chicago (2h06:14). The previous record of Vincent Rousseau went back to 1995. World record holder Eliud Kipchoge thinks Abdi can even go faster, and the Belgian will try to shave off one more minute as he eyes Mo Farah's European record (2h05:11). 

400 meter-specialist and rising star Jonathan Sacoor took the Silver Spike. The national relay team (4x400m), the Belgian Tornados, were chosen as Team of the Year after their stunning bronze medal at the World Championships in Doha.