Jonathan Borlée (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔnatɑ̃ bɔʁle]; born 22 February 1988) is a Belgian sprinter, who specializes in the 400 metres. He qualified for the finals of the 400 metres at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was a semi-finalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics and winner at the 2009 NCAA Championships.

Jonathan Borlée
Jonathan Borlée (cropped).jpg
Jonathan Borlée at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships
Personal information
Born (1988-02-22) 22 February 1988 (age 31)
ResidenceTallahassee, Florida
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight69 kg (152 lb)[1]
Event(s)400 metres
College teamFlorida State University
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)200 m: 20.31 s (Lubbock (TX) 2012)
400 m: 44.43 s NR (London, 2012)

Jonathan also takes part in the Belgian 4 × 400 m relay team. The team won gold at the 2012, 2016 and 2018 European Championships, and the 2015 European Indoor Championships. The team finished 4th at the 2008 Summer Olympics and at the 2016 Summer Olympics and won silver at the 2010 World Indoor Championships and bronze at the 2010 European Championships.


Early successesEdit

Borlée was born in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. He has an identical twin brother, Kevin (b. 1988), younger brother, Dylan (b. 1992), and an older sister, Olivia (b. 1986), who are also sprinters. All four are trained by their father Jacques Borlée (b. 1957).

Just like his twin brother, Jonathan Borlée obtained his first senior title at the age of 18: the Belgian Indoor championships in 2006 in Ghent, where he won the 200 m, while his brother won the 400 m. Later that year, Jonathan would also become the outdoor champion on the 400 m.

On May 31, 2008, Kévin and Jonathan took part in the 4 × 400 m on a meeting in Neerpelt. Together with Cédric Van Branteghem and Kristof Beyens, they improved a 27-year-old national record by more than a second to 3:02.51s. However, this was 1 hundredth of a second above the qualification time for the Olympic Games. Two weeks later, with Nils Duerinck instead of Kristof Beyens, they broke the national record again in a meeting in Namur to 3:02.13s.

National record at Summer Olympics in BeijingEdit

On August 19, 2008, at the semi-finals of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Jonathan Borlée ran a new personal best of 45.11s - yet this was not good enough to reach the final.

In the 4 × 400 m relay, with teammates Kévin Borlée, Cédric Van Branteghem and Arnaud Ghislain, they qualified for the final with a new national record of 3:00.67s. They originally finished 5th in the final with yet again a national record of 2:59.37s. The race was won by the American team in 2:55.39s, a new Olympic record. The Russian team, who had finished 3rd, were later disqualified promoting Belgium to 4th place.

Moved to the United StatesEdit

At the end of 2008, Jonathan Borlée moved together with his brother Kévin to Tallahassee to enroll in Florida State University.[2] During this period, Jonathan qualified for the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Jonathan won the 400 m in 44.78s, a new national record, while his brother Kévin finished 4th in 45.43s. Later on they had a big part in 4 × 400 m relay victory of Florida State with time of 2:59.59s, the second best season time.

Shortly thereafter, Jonathan injured himself: a stress fracture on the tarsus, which ruled him out for the rest of the season, including the 2009 World Championships. Shortly after, brother Kévin suffered the same injury at the opposite foot.

At the end of 2009, Jonathan received the Golden Spike award.

Silver at World Indoor ChampionshipsEdit

At the beginning of 2010, the Borlée-twins were back in shape. At the 2010 World Indoor Championships, the 4 × 400 m relay team with teammates Nils Duerinck and Antoine Gillet, they won their heat in 3:09.84s, a national indoor record. In the final, with Cédric Van Branteghem instead of Nils Duerinck, they won silver with a time 3:06.94s, another national record. It was the first time a Belgian relay team had ever delivered such a performance.

European Championships 2010Edit

Coming into the European Championships in Barcelona, Jonathan Borlée had recorded a new national record of 44.77s at a Diamond League meeting in Paris, just weeks before the championships. This was the fastest European time. Jonathan reached the final with two wins in the heats and the semi-finals in 45.91s and 44.71s respectively, the latter being a new national record again. In the final however, Jonathan could not fulfill the expectations and finished 7th in 45.35s. His brother Kévin became the new European Champion in 45.08s after an impressive sprint in the last 50 metres.

The Belgian 4 × 400 m relay team reached the final. Jonathan was spared in the heats, but won bronze together with Kévin Borlée, Arnaud Destatte and Cédric Van Branteghem with a time of 3:02.60s.


The Belgian team won the 4 × 400 m at the European Championships.

At the Olympics, Jonathan set his current personal best and improved upon his brother's national record for 400m in the first round of the Olympics. His 44.43 was clearly the best of the round for the entire field. He was not able to match that time in the semi-final but qualified for the final where he finished 6th, .02 behind his brother in 5th. Had he been able to run 44.43 in the final, it would have been good enough for the silver medal.


The Belgian 4 x 400 team that Borlée was in set a new area record in winning the gold medal of the European Indoor Championship. The team also finished 5th at the World Championship.


Borlée qualified for both the 400 m and the 4 × 400 m at the 2016 Olympics, reaching the semifinals in the individual events. The 4 × 400 m team finished in 4th place, setting a new national record. The 4 × 400 m team had previously won the European Championships.

European Championships 2018Edit

At the 400 m of the European Championships in Berlin, Jonathan Borlée reached the final with a win in heat 2 in 45.19s and a 2nd place finish in the 1st semi-final in a personal season's best of 44.87s. In the final, Jonathan came in third after Britain's Matthew Hudson-Smith and his twin brother Kevin in 45.19s.

The Belgian 4 × 400 m relay team, which included Julien Watrin, Robin Vanderbemden, 2018 junior world champion Jonathan Sacoor and younger brother Dylan, reached the final with a win in heat 2 in 3:02.44s, the 4th fastest qualifying time. In the final Julien Watrin and Robin Vanderbemden were replaced by the twin brothers Jonathan and Kevin. The Belgian team won gold in 2:59.47s.


Major TournamentsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing   Belgium
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 4th 400 m 46.06
5th 4 × 400 m 3:07.03
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China SF 400 m 45.11 s
4th 4 × 400 m 2:59.37 s
2009 NCAA Championships Fayetteville, Arkansas, US 1st 400 m 44.78 s (NR)
1st 4 × 400 m 2:59.59 s
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 4 × 400 m 3:06.94 s
European Championships Barcelona, Spain 7th 400 m 45.35 s (44.71 s (NR) in SF)
3rd 4 × 400 m 3:02.60 s
2011 European Indoor Championships Paris, France 3rd 4 × 400 m 3:06.57 s (NR)
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 4th 200m 20.99 s
1st 4 × 400 m 3:01.09 s
Olympic Games London, Great Britain 6th 400 m 44.83 s[3]
6th 4 × 400 m 3:01.83 s[4]
2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 1st 4 × 400 m 3:02.87 (AR)
IAAF World Relays Nassau, Bahamas 3rd 4 × 400 m 2:59.33 (NR)
World Championships Beijing, China 14th (sf) 400 m 44.85 s
5th 4 × 400 m 3:00.24
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 18th (h) 400 m 47.45 s
1st 4 × 400 m 3:01.10
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 32nd (h) 400 m 46.01
4th 4 × 400 m 2:58.52 (NR)
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 16th (sf) 400 m 45.23
4th 4 × 400 m 3:00.04
2018 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 3rd 4 × 400 m 3:02.51 (NR)
European Championships Berlin, Germany 3rd 400 m 45.19
1st 4 x 400 m 2:59.47
2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom 1st 4 × 400 m 3:06.27
IAAF World Relays Yokohama, Japan 3rd 4 × 400 m 3:02.70

Personal bestsEdit

Discipline Result Year Location
200 metres 20.31 s 2012 Lubbock, TX, United States
300 metres 31.87 s (NR) 2012 Liège, Belgium
400 metres 44.43 s (NR)[5] 2012 London, Great Britain
4 × 400 metres relay 2:58.52 (NR) 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 × 400 metres relay 3:02.51 s (NR) 2018 Birmingham, United Kingdom


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Wrong" Borlée claims gold for Belgium
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2013-01-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2012-08-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^

External linksEdit