Kevin Borlée

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Kevin Borlée
Kévin Borlée Daegu 2011.jpg
Borlée at the 2011 World Athletics Championships.
Personal information
Nationality  Belgium
Born (1988-02-22) 22 February 1988 (age 28)
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)

100m: 10.62 s (Beveren 2007)
200m: 20.84 s (Oordegem 2009)

400m: 44.56 s (Brussels 2012)

Kevin Borlée (French pronunciation: ​[kevin bɔʁle]; born 22 February 1988, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert) is a Belgian sprinter, who specializes in the 400 metres. He was 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 takes part in the Belgian 4 × 400 m relay team. The team finished 5th at the 2008 Summer Olympics and 4th at the 2009 World Championships. The team 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, Jonathan, younger brother, Dylan, and a sister, Olivia, who are also sprinters. All four are trained by their father Jacques.

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 May 31, 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 Beijing[edit]

On August 19, 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 hundreds 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.

At the end of 2008, Kevin received the Belgian Golden Spike award.[1]

Move to the United States[edit]

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 team mates 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 injury[edit]

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 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]

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.


Major tournaments[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Belgium
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 14th (sf) 400m 46.95
5th 4 × 400 m relay 3:07.03
2008 Summer Olympics Beijing, China SF 400m 44.88 s (NR)
5th 4 × 400 m 2:59.37 s (NR)
2009 NCAA Championships Fayetteville, Arkansas, US 4th 400m 45.43 s
1st 4 × 400 m 2:59.59 s
World Championships Berlin, Germany SF 400m 45.28 s
4th 4 × 400 m 3:01.88 s
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 4 × 400 m 3:06.94 s
European Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st 400m 45.08 s
3rd 4 × 400 m 3:02.60 s
2011 European Indoor Championships Paris, France 3rd 4 × 400 m 3:06.57 s (NR)
World Championships Daegu, South Korea 3rd 400m 44.90 s
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 4 × 400 m 3:01.09 s
Summer Olympics London, Great Britain 5th 400 m 44.81 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 s (AR)
World Championships Beijing, China 11th (sf) 400 m 44.74 s
5th 4 × 400 m 3:00.24
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 4th 400 m 45.60 s
1st 4 × 400 m 3:01.10

Personal bests[edit]

Discipline Result Year Location
100 metres 10.62 s 2007 Beveren, Belgium
200 metres 20.72 s 2011 Brussels, Belgium
300 metres 32.76 s 2008 Liège, Belgium
400 metres 44.56 s 2012 Brussels, Belgium
4x400 metres relay 2:59.37 s (NR) 2008 Beijing, China
400 metres 46.87 s 2006 Ghent, Belgium
4x400 metres relay 3:06.57 s (NR) 2011 Paris, France


External links[edit]