18 JUN 2012 General News

Borlée impresses with 44.56 national record in Brussels

Kévin Borlée cruising to the Belgian 400m title in Brussels (Nadia Verhoft)Kévin Borlée cruising to the Belgian 400m title in Brussels (Nadia Verhoft) © Copyright
Brussels, BelgiumKévin Borlée impressed with 44.56 in the heats of the 400m on Saturday (16) and confirmed that performance with a winning mark of 44.63 in the final on Sunday (17) to highlight the Belgian national championships over the weekend. He shattered his personal best by 0.18 seconds and improved the national record held by his twin brother Jonathan by 0.15. His performance is currently the third fastest in the world this year.

Gearing up confidently towards London 2012

No more than a few hundred spectators showed up for the heats of the Belgian national championships on Saturday (16). But they were given value for their money when Kévin Borlée went blasting off his blocks to clock an amazing 44.56, the fastest time run by a European athlete since 2007.

Kévin Borlée, who also won the 400m bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, was very happy with his race.

"I wanted to run two races this weekend and see how well I would recover. I was very confident about how things were going in training but it does give a boost to be able to confirm it in a competition. That I beat the national record of my brother is not important, because he is perfectly capable of taking it away from me again."

Looking ahead to London Kévin Borlée showed optimism, but he also sticks to reality. "This proves that I’m gearing up fine and my plan is to reach my best shape at the Olympics. But it is still early days in the season and many athletes will make their mark in the next weeks. This is an Olympic year and competition is always tougher then, that’s just how it is."

Jonathan Borlée clocks 20.32 in the 200m

Jonathan Borlée is the speedier of the twin brothers and was entered in the 200m. After cruising through the heats in 20.51, Jonathan won the final in 20.32, 0.01 outside his personal best and a new championship record. Jonathan is already credited with 44.88 at the 400m this year and he is equally confident about his preparation for the London Olympics.

Anne Zagré won a duel against Eline Berings in the 100m Hurdles. The former European Junior Champion ran a national record with 12.92 while Berings clocked 12.95. Both athletes are now just outside the national qualifying mark for the Olympic Games.

The 21-year-old Hanne Claes is the rising star in Belgian women’s sprinting. She took the 200m against Olympic sprint relay silver medalists Olivia Borlée and Hanna Mariën clocking 23.33.

"She looked impressive," said Belgian sprinting icon Kim Gevaert. "It’s the first time I saw her racing and she showed great talent and good mentality."

Ivo Hendrix for the IAAF

Select Results:
MEN -
200m : Jonathan Borlée 20.32
400m : Kévin Borlée 44.63 (heat 44.56)
110m Hurdles : Adrien Deghelt 13.64
400m Hurdles : Michael Bultheel 49.60

WOMEN -
100m : Anne Zagré 12.92
200m : Hanne Claes 23.33
100m Hurdles : Anne Zagré 12.92
High Jump : Hannelore Desmet 1.86m