24 athletes will represent Team Belgium at the European Cross Country Championships

Team Belgium will be represented by 24 athletes at the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg. The Belgian Athletics Federation has announced the team on both its websites. Four teams and a Mixed Relays team are set to compete. The country opts for two athletes in both U20 and U23 women categories.

The Structabo CrossCup race in Roeselare was once again the last chance for Belgian cross country runners to show their good shape towards the federation. Monday 26 November the team was announced. There weren’t any big surprises involved.

Belgium sends out four teams: U20 men, U23 men, senior men and senior women. In both U23 men and senior men there are 5 athletes who will start at the European championships. Isaac Kimeli is the greatest medal contender in the senior category, while Simon Debognies will be very close to the medals in the U23 race. Kimeli thinks that the Belgian team can perform very strong: “I’m very proud to see that such a strong team will represent our country, yet I do find it a pity that Soufiane Bouchikhi (who came in fifth at the last year’s European Cross Country Championships) is missing out due to an injury”. Tim Van de Velde is aiming for a performance that would bring him close to the medals in the U20 race. "I feel like I am even in better shape than last year (he became 11th in 2017). I hope to have a great day in Tilburg, so that I can deliver a great performance for my country."

Nina Lauwaert, who was victorious in Roeselare in the women’s race has said that she would be very delighted if she could finish close to the 15 best performers in Tilburg. It is the first time that the 30 year old athlete is selected for an international championship to run for the Belgian team.

Both the U20 and U23 women are represented by two athletes. 

The Mixed Relays team is considered to be amongst the favourites to grab the win. The strong relay team features Belgian record holder in the mile Pieter-Jan Hannes, Belgian 1500m record holder Ismael Debjani, Sofie Van Accom and Elise Vanderelst. Hannes, who won the short distance cross in Roeselare, is looking forward to the European Cross Country Championships: “I think we are almost the only country in Europe with great track runners on the 1500m that can perform very well in a cross country race too. For me Tilburg is an excellent preparation towards the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow”.

Picture: Peter Wagemans

The Team

Senior Men

Senior Women

Isaac Kimeli / OEH

Robin Hendrix / OEH

Lander Tijtgat / EA

Dame Tasame / VAC

Michael Somers / LYRA

Nina Lauwert / ROBA

Hanna Vandenbussche / AVR

Imana Truyers / CABW

U23 women

U23 women

Simon Debognies / OEH

Clement Deflandre / HERV

Dieter Kersten / ADD

Jennen Mortier / RCG

Dorian Boulvin / CABW

Vanessa Scaunet / CABW

Lisa Rooms / HAMM

U20 Men

U20 women

Tim van de Velde / DUFF

Thomas Vanoppen / ACHL

Lucas Da Silva / RFCL

Mathilde Deswaef / WS

Febe Triest / HAMM

 

Relays men

Relays women

1.    Ismael Debjani / CABW

2.    Pieter-Jan Hannes / OLSE

1.    Elise Vanderelst / MOHA

2.    Sofie Van Accom / ACHL