The first international meet in Liévin was in 1988, two years after the construction of the regional Arena Stade Couvert in Liévin, recognized for being one of the largest modern indoor athletics stadiums in Europe.
After organizing the Indoor European Championship in 1987, Michel Bernard, the president of the Ligue Nord/Pas-de-Calais d’Athlétisme, decided to organize a large international event for the following year. Thus, the meeting at Liévin was born.
The baton was passed on to Philppe Lamblin in 1989, who, within the next four years, skyrocketed the meeting into the becoming one of the best in the world.
Georges Pochon, who was president of the Ligue Nord/Pas-de-Calais d’Athlétisme from 1997 until 2004, preserved the meet’s high level.
From 2006, Phillip Lamblin, the current president of the Ligue Hauts-de-France (created from the fusion of the Ligue Nord/Pas-de-Calais d’Athlétisme and Ligue Picardie d’Athlétisme in 2016), has reprised his role and despite a two-year interruption following renovations and expansions the Arena Stade Couvert, the meeting quickly propelled itself onto the world stage until 2012. What followed were years of closures for an indeterminate time due to technical problems in the stadium.
After six years of waiting and uncertainty, the Arena Stade Couvert finally reopened its doors at the end of 2017. With this announcement, the event’s organizers lost no time in rapidly finding partners and sponsor in order to revive the Indoor Meet at Liévin and return to the international scene in 2018.
Oh, the memories…
7 World Records of Meet Winners
Lane 6 seems to be magic lane, having seen three 200m world records demolished in it.
1993: 200m, women: Merlene Ottey, establishing a fabulous world record in 21.87s which still stands.
1993: Pole Vault, men: Sergueï Bubka, vaulting for an incredible height of 6.14m which still today, appears inaccessible.
1994: Triple Jump, women: Inna Lasovskaya, havin three giant jumps solidify a mark of 14.9m
1995: 200m, men: Linford Christie, beating F.Fredericks for the world record in 20.25s.
1996: 200m, men: Franck Ferdericks, taking the title the next year and the world record, being the first man to run under 20 seconds indoor with a time of 19.92s.
2002: Pole Vault, women: Svetlana Feofanova, beat the world record for the fourth time this season with a jump of 4.74m.
2005: Pole Vault, women: Yelena Isinbayeva, with a jump of 4.89m, she surpassed her competition and continued to add to her record centimeter by centimeter.
+ 1 World record under the European Championship in 1987
1987: 200m, men: Bruno Marie-Rose was the first to make a mark and imprint himself in the history of the track, running for a time of 20.36s.