Photo of the week: We are the champions


The Belgian Athletics Championships gave local athletes another chance to win a place at the world level later this month

Fractions of a second

Flemish athletes Paulien Couckuyt (left) and Hanne Claes made up one of many celebratory photos taken during the Belgian Athletics Championships last weekend in Brussels’ Boudewijn Stadium. The annual event is the final qualifier for the World Championships later this month in Doha, Qatar.

While Claes, already on the World Championship roster, won the 400m hurdles by a tenth of a second – buying her a ticket to next summer’s Olympic Games – Couckuyt was, clearly, not disappointed with her second-place finish. That’s because, with a time of 55”46, she’s secured her place at Doha, too. Claes’s time of 55”36 was also a personal best.

Imke Vervaet and Manon Depuydt also ran personal bests at the event, with Vervaet besting Depuydt’s 23.26 in the 200m by one-hundredth of a second. Alas, the times were not enough to get the women to Doha. The complete results of the Belgian championships can be found on Sporza.

This weekend, in the meantime, is another big athletics meet: The Memorial Van Damme, the final event in the IAAF Diamond League. Those who didn’t place for the World Championships last weekend get another chance here. Good seats to cheer on the Belgians are still available.

Photo: Jasper Jacobs/BELGA