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Kevin Borlée (French pronunciation: ​[kevin bɔʁle]; born 22 February 1988) is a Belgian sprinter, who specializes in the 400 metres.

Kevin Borlée
WK040396 finale 4x400m heren kevin (38877420370).jpg
Personal information
NationalityBelgian
Born (1988-02-22) 22 February 1988 (age 31)
Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
ResidenceTallahassee, Florida
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight67 kg (148 lb)[1]
Sport
CountryBelgium
SportAthletics
Event(s)400 metres
College teamFlorida State University
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 m: 10.62 s (Beveren 2007)
200 m: 20.84 s (Oordegem 2009)
400 m: 44.56 s (Brussels 2012)

Borlée won bronze at the 2011 World Championships in the 400m. He qualified for the finals of the 400 metres at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was also a semi-finalist at both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2009 World Championships, and is the 2010 European Champion on this distance.

Kevin also competes with 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, 4th at the 2009 World Championships, won silver at the 2010 World Indoor Championships and bronzes at the 2019 World Athletics Championships and the 2010 European Championships, 6th at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 4th at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

BiographyEdit

Early successesEdit

He has an identical twin brother, Jonathan (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 (b. 1957).

Just like his twin brother, Kevin obtained his first senior title at the age of 18: the Belgian Indoor championships in 2006 in Ghent, where he won the 400 m, while his brother won the 200 m. Later on, Kevin would add 3 more Belgian indoor titles: once more on the 400 m and two on the 200 m.

On 31 May 2008 Kevin 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 hundred 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 records at Summer Olympics in BeijingEdit

On 19 August 2008, during the semi-finals of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Kevin Borlée ran a new national record of 44.88s, improving the former record of Cédric Van Branteghem by 14 hundredths of a second. Despite he did not reach the final.

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

At the end of 2008, Kevin received the Belgian Golden Spike award.[2]

Move to the United StatesEdit

At the end of 2008, Kevin Borlée moved together with his brother Jonathan to Tallahassee to enroll in Florida State University. During this period, Kevin qualified for the NCAA-championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Kevin finished 4th on the 400 m in 45.43s in a race that was won by his brother Jonathan in 44.78s, a new national record. 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.

A couple of months later, at the 2009 World Championships, Kevin reached the semi-finals on the 400 m with 45.28s. On the 4 × 400 m relay with teammates Antoine Gillet, Nils Duerinck and Cédric Van Branteghem (Jonathan was out with a stress fracture), they finished 1st in their heat with 3:02.13s and finished 4th in the final in 3:01.88s.

Identical injuryEdit

Directly after the World Championships, it became clear that Kevin had sustained the same injury that ruled out his brother Jonathan 6 weeks earlier: a stress fracture on the tarsus. The story shows many similarities with the stress fracture of the tibia of the Swedish hurdles sprinters Susanna and Jenny Kallur. Both had the same injury at the different leg.

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

 
Kevin Borlée at the 2011 European Championships.

At the 400 m of the European Championships in Barcelona, Kevin Borlée reached the final with two wins in the heats and the semi-finals in 45.71s and 45.32s respectively. In the final, Kevin seemed to fall back after a good start, but with an impressive sprint in the last 50 m, he passed the pack to win in front of Britain's Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney in 45.08s, a season's best. With this win, he is only the third Belgian male athlete to become a European Champion. The last one was Karel Lismont on the marathon in 1971, the first one Gaston Roelants in 1962 on the steeple chase. His brother Jonathan finished 7th in 45.35s.

The Belgian 4 × 400 m relay team, which besides Kevin included Antoine Gillet, Cédric Van Branteghem and Nils Duerinck, reached the final. With 3:03.49s, they had the fastest time. In the final Antoine Gillet and Nils Duerinck were replaced by Arnaud Destatte and Jonathan Borlée. The Belgian team won bronze in 3:02.60s.

2012Edit

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

At the Olympics, Kevin reached the final of the 400 m, finishing 5th.[3]

2015Edit

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.

2016Edit

Borlée qualified for both the 400 m and the 4 × 400 m at the 2016 Olympics, reaching the semi-finals 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, Kevin Borlée reached the final with a win in heat 1 in 45.29s and a 3rd place finish in the 3rd semi-final in 45.07s (fastest losing time) . In the final, Kevin had his trade mark slow start, but with an impressive sprint in the last 100 m, he passed the pack to come in second after Britain's Matthew Hudson-Smith in 45.13s. His twin brother Jonathan finished 3rd 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 Kevin and Jonathan. The Belgian team won gold in 2:59.47s.

AchievementsEdit

Major tournamentsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing   Belgium
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 14th (sf) 400 m 46.95
5th 4 × 400 m 3:07.03
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 8th (sf) 400 m 44.88 (NR)
4th 4 × 400 m 2:59.37
2009 NCAA Championships Fayetteville, Arkansas, US 4th 400m 45.43
1st 4 × 400 m 2:59.59
World Championships Berlin, Germany 12th (sf) 400 m 45.28
4th 4 × 400 m 3:01.88
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 4 × 400 m 3:06.94
European Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st 400 m 45.08
3rd 4 × 400 m 3:02.60
2011 European Indoor Championships Paris, France 3rd 4 × 400 m 3:06.57 (NR)
World Championships Daegu, South Korea 3rd 400 m 44.90
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 4 × 400 m 3:01.09
Olympic Games London, Great Britain 5th 400 m 44.81[4]
6th 4 × 400 m 3:01.83[5]
2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 1st 4 × 400 m 3:02.87 (AR)
World Championships Beijing, China 11th (sf) 400 m 44.74
5th 4 × 400 m 3:00.24
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 4th 400 m 45.60
1st 4 × 400 m 3:01.10
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 28th (h) 400 m 45.90
4th 4 × 400 m 2:58.52 (NR)
2017 European Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia 2nd 4 × 400 m 3:07.80
IAAF World Relays Nassau, Bahamas 2nd (B) 4 × 400 m 3:07.14
World Championships London, United Kingdom 11th (sf) 400 m 45.10
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 2nd 400 m 45.13
1st 4 x 400 m 2:59.47
2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow, United Kingdom 1st 4 × 400 m 3:06.27
World Championships Doha, Qatar 3rd 4 x 400 m 2.58.78

Personal bestsEdit

Discipline Result Year Location
Outdoor
100 metres 10.62 s 2007 Beveren, Belgium
200 metres 20.72 s 2011 Brussels, Belgium
300 metres 32.22 s 2017 Liège, Belgium
400 metres 44.56 s 2012 Brussels, Belgium
4 × 400 metres relay 2:58.52 s (NR) 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Indoor
400 metres 46.87 s 2006 Ghent, Belgium
4 × 400 metres relay 3:02.51 s (NR) 2018 Birmingham, United Kingdom

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/bo/kevin-borlee-1.html
  2. ^ Gouden Spike voor Tia Hellebaut en Kevin Borlée, hln.be (2009-02-04)
  3. ^ "Kevin Borlée Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit