Belgium: The first week of March 2023 was an eventful one for Belgian athletes. From 2-5 March 2023, the latest edition of the European Athletics Indoor Championships took place in Istanbul. This is the biggest indoor event organized by European Athletics. More than 600 athletes from as many as 51 European Athletics Member Federations now participate in the championships.
The Belgian athletes won a total of four medals of honour: two gold medals, one silver, and one bronze. With a new world record, Nafissatou Thiam retained her title of European champion in the pentathlon at the end of the 800m. She ran 2:13.60 to score 5,055 points, putting her in the first place and setting the world record. In the same competition, Noor Vidts also won another medal for the Belgian team by ending up third with a time of 2:14.52.
On Sunday, the Belgian Tornados (consisting of Dylan Borlée, Alexander Doom, Kevin Borlée and Julien Watrin) came in first at the 4×400 meters, finishing in 3:05.83. This is the seventeenth international medal for Tornados. They also won gold at the European Indoor Championships in 2015 and 2019 and won the World Indoor title last year. Julien Watrin had also set a national record by winning the silver medal in the individual 400m event one day before.
At the World Speed Skating Championships, which took place on Saturday, 4 March 2023, in Heerenveen, the Netherlands, Bart Swings received the title of Mass Start World Champion. This is the third medal at the World Championships in Distance for Bart Swings, who won bronze in the 1,500m on Thursday 02 March and bronze in the mass start in Heerenveen in 2021.
Bart Swings gave Belgium its first Winter Olympic gold medal since 1948 at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. He also earned the first podium finish for Belgium since 1998 at the 2018 Games, finishing second in the mass start.
We want to congratulate these Belgian athletes on their outstanding performances, and we cannot wait to see what records they will break next, said Belgium Embassy.