Jacques Borlée

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Jacques Borlée
Personal information
Born 27 September 1957
Stanleyville, Belgian Congo

Jacques Borlée (born 27 September 1957) is a former Belgian athlete, and the father and coach of athletes Kevin, Jonathan, Dylan Borlée and Olivia Borlée. He was voted European Athletics Coach of the Year in 2011.

Early life[edit]

Jacques Borlée was born in Stanleyville, in the Belgian Congo, in 1957, three years before the independence of the country. His father was the last Belgian governor of the Kivu province. The family moved to Brussels in Belgium in 1960.[1] Jacques Borlée married Edith de Maertelaere, a former Belgian champion over 200m runner.[2][3] They have five children together.[4] Jacques Borlée also has two children from a second marriage.[2]


Jacques Borlée was a sprinter, specializing in 100m, 200m and 400m, winning eight Belgian titles in total.[3] He was Belgian champion over 100m in 1981 and 1983, Belgian champion over 200m in 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1984, Belgian champion over 400m in 1982, and Belgian champion over 400m hurdles in 1977.[5] In 1983, he won a silver medal at the 1983 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Budapest over 200m.[6] In 1980, he competed at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, reaching the quarterfinals of the 400 meters.[7] At the 1978 European Athletics Championships in Prague he ended fifth as part of the 4 × 400 m relay team. At the 1982 European Athletics Championships in Athens, he ended fifth in his first round race over 400m.[8]

His personal record over 400m is 45.4 seconds, set in 1979.[7]


Jacques Borlée is the coach of four of his children, the twins Kevin and Jonathan, their brother Dylan and their sister Olivia.[2][9] He also coaches the men's 4x400 relay team.[10] On 4 October 2011, he was voted the European coach of the year.[11]

Athletes he coached won medals at major championships. His daughter Olivia won a silver medal as part of the 4 × 100 m relay team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing,[2] in a new Belgian record time. The Belgian 4 × 400 m relay team, including his two sons Kevin and Jonathan, ended fifth at the same games,[3] also setting a new national record in that race.[12]

At the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, the women's 4 × 100 m relay team, with his daughted Olivia, won the bronze medal.[2] 4 Years later, at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, Kevin won the bronze medal in the 400m individual, with Jonathan ending in fifth place.

At the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, Kevin won the gold medal in the 400m race,[2] while the 4 × 400 m relay team with the two Borlée brothers won the bronze medal.[13] The team achieved the same at the 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships as well.[10]

Olivia Borlée was the national champion of Belgium over 100m in 2008 and 2009, and over 200m in 2009. Kevin Borlée was Belgian champion over 400m in 2007 and over 200m in 2009, and Jonathan was champion over 400m in 2006. The Gouden Spike, the award for the Belgian Athlete of the Year, was won by Kevin in 2008 and 2010, and by Jonathan in 2009. Each time the other brother finished second. In 2008, Kevin was also the promising new athlete of the year, and Jonathan was the same in 2006. Olivia Borlée was the promising new athlete of 2003, and finished in third place in the female Gouden Spike in 2008 and 2009.[14]

His sons have also repeatedly broken the national record at the 400m.[2][4]


  1. ^ "WK Atletiek: Jacques Borlée, vader en coach van Kevin en Jonathan" (in Dutch). Humo. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Les Borlée, une institution familiale en Belgique". La Dépêche (in French). AFP. 31 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Van Dorsselaer, Isa (13 September 2008). "Geluk is... tot het uiterste gaan". De Standaard (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Jacobs, Hans (22 August 2008). "De snelste tweeling van het land". De Standaard (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Palmares BK outdoor: mannen". Vlaamse Atletiek Liga. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "European Indoor Championships medal tables (Men)". www.gbrathletics.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Jacques Borlée". Olympic games record. www.sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Palmares Belgische atleten bij EK outdoor" (in Dutch). Vlaamse Atletiek Liga. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Official Borlée's Website". 
  10. ^ a b "Jacques Borlée: "Geen offday, anderen waren beter"". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). Belga. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Jacques Borlée verkozen tot Europese Coach van het Jaar". He Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Belga. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Goud, zilver en tien keer top-8 voor de Belgen". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Belga. 23 August 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Jacques Borlée : "Une course fabuleuse"". RTBF (in French). 1 August 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Archief Gouden Spike". Vlaamse Atletiek Liga. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 

External links[edit]