Category Archives: Kim Gevaert

Track Beauty of the Week: Kim Gevaert

Kim Gevaert is this week’s track beauty!

The retired Belgian sprinter has had an illustrious career. With personal bests of 11.04s and 22.20s in the 100m and 200m dashes, the powerfully built speedser was a fixture in elite women’s sprinting during her prime.

Photo from Wikipedia

She first made waves during in 1999, when she won the 200m title at the Universiade and the 100m dash bronze at the European U23 Championships. She was crowned European Indoor Champion at the 60m dash in 2002, the same year she notched an impressive 100m-200m silver medal double at the European Outdoor Championships in Munich.

Four years later in Goteborg, the Belgian struck gold in the two events, becoming the first athlete from her country to win a continental 100m dash title.

Gevaert was an outstanding indoor sprinting career, winning silver and bronze medals at the 60m dash at the 2004 and 2006 editions of the World Indoor Championships. Outdoors, she led a successful the Belgian quartet to a bronze medal finish at the 2007 World Championships.

The popular Gevaert had an eventful farewell season in 2008. In her last Olympic appearance, the Belgian sprinter anchored the 4x100m quartet to an unprecedented Olympic silver.

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“The Borlées: En Route to Olympic History” by Joboy Quintos

When the words “siblings” and “athletics” come together, the first name that pop  into my head are the Kallur twins. Susanna Kallur, in recent years, had distinguished herself in the women’s sprint hurdles, breaking the 60m hurdles world record and topping the 2006 Goteborg European Championships. Her twin sister Jenny, older by four minutes, has been a fixture in the athletics circuits, but hasn’t reached the same level of success as Sanna.

Read: Track Beauties of the Week: Susanna and Jenny Kallur

The Harrison twins used to be the finest example of sibling excellence, winning the 4x400m relay gold in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games – teaming up with Michael Johnson and the late Antonio Pettigrew. Alvin and Calvin were the first ever siblings – identical twins at that! – to ever win an Olympic track & field gold whilst part of the same relay team.

   

Kevin, Olivia, and Jonathan. (Photos from Erik van Leeuwen)

Belgium’s Borlee sibings threaten to usurp the aforesaid families. Trained by their father, Jacques, the Borlees are the most illustrious athletics family actively competing to today. Elder sister Olivia, a 200m specialist, already has an Olympic 4x100m relay silver to her name. The Belgian team finished 0.23s behind Russia in Beijing 2008.

Identical twins Kevin and Jonathan are en route to becoming fine quarter milers, with both brothers qualifying for the 2010 Euro Championships 400m final. In the 4x400m relay, the Borlee twins comprised half of the formidable Belgian team that won silver at the 2010 Doha World Indoor Champs and bronze at the Barcelona Euro Championships.

The future for Kevin (PB 44.88s) and Jonathan (PB 44.718s) looks promising. If the brothers can shed precious hundredths of a second off their respective bests, they could mount a decent challenge to the American hegemony in the 400m dash. If Olivia and the other female Belgian sprinters somehow reprise their fabulous bridesmaid finish at the London Olympics, with Kim Gevaert long since retired, the prospects for a three sibling Olympic romp becomes ever so bright.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but in my constant readings of Olympic (as well as World Championships) track & field history, three siblings each coming home with a medal is an unheard of fact.

Article by Joboy Quintos

Additional Links:

Video: 2010 World Indoor Championships 4x400m Relay

Video: 2008 Beijing Olympics 4x100m Relay

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