Belgian Tornados relay team secure Olympic ticket at World Relays

The Belgian men's 4x400 metres relay team, dubbed the Tornados, qualified for the Olympics at the World Relays in the Bahamas on Sunday. The mixed relay team also secured their ticket for Paris, and three other Belgian relay teams have a last chance tonight, in the Olympic qualification round two.

At the World Relays, the unofficial World Championships for relay teams, all the world's relay teams have two days to qualify for the Olympic Games. The easiest way is to come first or second in your heat. That way, teams not only qualify for the finals, but book their tickets to Paris after day one.

The Belgian Tornados passed that task with flying colours. ​ Dylan Borlée, Robin Vanderbemden, Jonathan Sacoor and Alexander Doom fell just short of the 3-minute mark (3'00"09), but their time was good enough to win their race, ahead of Nigeria and Jamaica.

It is the fifth consecutive time that the men's team have qualified for the Olympics. The previous times they always reached the Olympic final, but have never taken home a medal.

The mixed relay team will also be going to Paris. Sacoor ran alongside Imke Vervaet, Camille Laus and Christian Iguacel. They finished second in their heat (3'13"18), behind Ireland. Three years ago, the mixed team finished fifth in Tokyo.

Three other teams have a second chance in the qualification round two, which takes place on Sunday evening. Among them are the Cheetahs, the women’s 4x400m team, who are missing top runner Cynthia Bolingo because of injury. The other teams are the men’s team, the Falcons and the women’s team, the Rockets, both running the 4x100m.



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