Edition 2015: Saterday 18 July
Four European tickets and Asafa Powell at KBC Nacht
Belga
At the KBC Night in Heusden-Zolder Jonathan Borlée, Julien Watrin, Aaron Botterman and Jan Van Den Broeck reeled in their ticket to the European Championships next month in Zurich.
Four or five Belgian EC limits? Strictly speaking five. With 13:37:12 5000 meters, Abdelhadi El Hachimi remained well below the limits for the European Championships. However, in Zurich he will take part in the marathon. He had registered in the 5000 meters at the KBC Night to test his form. A successful test.

BOTTERMAN AND VDB AT 0.01 OF EACH OTHER

A spectacular and unexpected qualification of Aaron Botterman in the 800 meters. The athlete from Ghent refused to be pushed aside and joined the fast lead group in the B-series. In the final 30 meters Botterman powered on somewhat more and moved up a few places.

With 1:46:17 Botterman improved his personal record by nearly two seconds, and he remained well below the limit for the European championships. Last year Botterman claimed silver in the 800m at the European Championships for juniors in Rieti.

Jan Van Den Broeck qualified for the EC in the A-series, he benefited in the slipstream of a lead group that maintained a blistering pace. With 1:46:16 - one hundredth faster than Botterman earlier in the evening - he claimed sixth and reeled in his ticket for the European championships.

DOUBLE QUALIFICATION IN 400 METERS

No one expected Jonathan Borlée still to be looking for his ticket for Zurich at this time of the season, but he succeeded at the KBC Night nonetheless. He claimed third in 45.37, the best Belgian year performance, behind Jarrin Solomon from Trinidad & Tobago (44.98) and the American Manteo Mitchell (45.12). Julien Watrin finished sixth in a personal best time of 45.73 and also received the go ahead for Zurich.

Olivia Borlée, sister of Jonathan, is working her way into a nice comeback after a long period of injuries. In the 200m, she could not really persist: she most certainly hoped for a better performance than her 23:50 and seventh. Borlée also took part as the final runner in the 4x4x400m relay team, which won the event in 3:32:04.

With Laetitia Libert, Justien Grillet and Kimberley Efonye an unprecedented group of four excelled on the track, despite the absence of Axelle Dauwens and Hanne Claes. The quartet missed out on the Belgian limit for the European Championship only just, but their current ranking - 8th - might see them head for Switzerland after all.

HANNES DOES NOT BREAK 20 YEAR OLD BR

At Heusden-Zolder the most acclaimed Belgian athlete was Pieter-Jan Hannes, who seemed to be heading for a win and a national record in the 1500 meters, but the athlete from Antwerp claimed second and missed out on the current Belgian record, since 1996 by Christophe Impens, by .34 of a second.

SECOND PLACE FOR ASAFA POWELL

Asafa Powell manages a worthy comeback on the international stage. He outdid his own performance from earlier on in the week in Lucerne 15 hundreths of a second. He is gradually approaching his goal for this season: under 10 seconds. The Jamaican sprint athlete finished two hundredths behind winner Marvin Bracy from the USA, but afterwards was visibly pleased with his performance.

With 1.43.65 in the 800 meters the Kenyan Timothy Kitum recorded the best international performance of the evening. He now sees himself ranked as seventh in discipline that is undergoing quite a boom this year.