Jonathan Borlée

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Jonathan Borlée
Jonathan Borlée Doha 2010.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  Belgium
Born (1988-02-22) 22 February 1988 (age 29)
Residence Tallahassee, Florida
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 62 kg (137 lb)
Sport Running
Event(s) 400 metres
College team Florida 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 Borlée (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔnatɑ̃ bɔʁle]; born 22 February 1988, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert) is a Belgian sprinter, who specializes in the 400 metres. He was a semi-finalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics and winner at the 2009 NCAA Championships.

Jonathan also takes part in the Belgian 4 × 400 m relay team. The team finished 5th at the 2008 Summer Olympics and won silver at the 2010 World Indoor Championships and bronze at the 2010 European Championships.

He qualified for the finals of the 400 metres at the 2012 Summer Olympics.


Early successes[edit]

He has a twin brother, Kevin, younger brother, Dylan Borlée and a sister, Olivia, who are also sprinters. All four are trained by their father Jacques Borlée.

Just like his twin brother, Jonathan 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 Beijing[edit]

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 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.

Moved to the United States[edit]

At the end of 2008, Jonathan Borlée moved together with his brother Kévin to Tallahassee to enroll in Florida State University.[1] 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 Championships[edit]

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 team mates 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 2010[edit]

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.

2012 Olympics[edit]

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.


Major Tournaments[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Belgium
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 4th 400m 46.06
5th 4 × 400 m 3:07.03
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China SF 400 m 45.11 s
5th 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[2]
6th 4 × 400 m 3:01.83 s[3]
2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 1st 4 × 400 m 3:02.87 (AR)
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)

Personal bests[edit]

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)[4] 2012 London, Great Britain
4 × 400 metres relay 2:58.52 (NR) 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 × 400 metres relay 3:06.57 s (NR) 2011 Paris, France


External links[edit]