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Elly Van Hulst in Seoul

About Elly van Hulst

About Elly | Monte Gordo & Vila Real Santo Antonio | Alfamar | Vilamoura | Algarve Map | Vila Real Santo Antonio Sports Complex

Elly is a famous athlete in her native Netherlands having been their National Champion over 70 times at distances ranging from 800m - 10,000m. This is unique in the world of Dutch athletics.

She competed for almost 20 years as a world class elite athlete competing in the Olympic Games of Los Angeles ('84) and Seoul ('88). During her career Elly won a number of European and World Indoor titles and broke the World Indoor Record for 3000m in 1989. Her remarkable record time of 8:33.82 was not bettered until 2001.

Athletics fans in Britain will remember Elly for her famous head to head battle with Liz McColgan at the 1989 World Indoors in Budapest.

BBC Sport Online when recalling some of the more memorable moments in the history of the World Championships describe the race.

'Elly Van Hulst and Liz McColgan broke away from the field in the 3000m matching each other stride by stride. The Dutch athlete finally snatched victory from McColgan and smashed the World Record as the pair finished 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the field'

It would have been little consolation to Liz McColgan that her time of 8:34.80 was a full five seconds under the previous record.

From 1980 when Elly was competing she trained in Portugal several times each year. She has been living in Portugal permanently since 1990 with husband and former coach Theo Kersten. After her athletics career, she started her own business "Elly van Hulst Promotion Ltd." This company now provides several services.


  • 1978 Prague European Championships
  • 1984 Los Angeles Olympics
  • 1985 World 1500m Champion - Paris
  • 1986 Stuttgart European Championships
  • 1987 Winner of the IAAF Grand Prix for the mile event
  • 1987 Indianapolis World Indoor Championships
  • 1987 Rome World Championships
  • 1988 Seoul Olympics
  • 1988 European 3000m Indoor Champion - Budapest
  • 1989 European 3000m Indoor Champion - The Hague
  • 1989 World 3000m Indoor Champion – Budapest ( World Record 8:33.82 )
  • 1990 European 3000m Indoor Champion - Glasgow
  • 1990 Split European Championships
  • 1991 Seville World Indoor Championships
  • 1993 Toronto World Indoor Championships
  • 1993 Stuttgart World Championships