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Jean-Paul Praet (born November 8, 1955) is a former Belgium Belgian ultra-runner. He became European champion in the 100 km and multiple Belgian champion in various distances. He also improved the world record at 100 km and 6 hours. He also won the Nacht van Vlaanderen (Night of Flanders) eight times, an ultra-long run over 100 km (1986, 1988-94).
In 1986, Praet won the Night of Flanders in an unlikely 6:03.51. The trail was measured by a surveyor and his time was recognized by the V.W.J.L, the only league that recognized the 100 km as walking distance at that time. When afterwards the IAAF did acknowledge the 100 km as a running distance, the performance of Praet was not homologated due to the fact that the course was not officially measured with a Jones Counter via a meter accredited by the IAAF.
At the 1989 edition, in the early stages, Praet opposed Hungarian Ernő Kis-Király, who went on a hunt for the 30,000-franc bonus, which was promised for the first athlete to cross the Middelkerke half-way point. The Hungarian miner won this bonus, which for him was equal to an entire annual wage, and then dropped back into the competition. Jean-Paul Praet was unleashed and had more than 23 minutes ahead of another Hungarian Kovacs at the finish. His time of 6:15.30 was again not recognized as a world record despite the IAAF survey, since Praet competed earlier that year in a 100 km in South Africa at the time of the country's sports boycott.
On September 12, 1992 Jean-Paul Praet won the Run in Winschoten, which was also regarded as the European Championship 100 km. With his time of 6:16.41 he finished for the Russian Konstantin Santalov (silver; 6:28.45) and the Frenchman Bruno Scelsi (bronze; 6:42.40). For the third time, however, a top time from Praet was not recognized. The result is that for the IAAF the Japanese Takahiro Sunada with 6:13.33, run in 1998, counts as world record holder.
European champion 100 km - 1992 Belgian champion 50 km - 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994 Belgian champion 100 km - 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 Belgian champion 50 Eng. miles - 1991, 1992