Bolingo sets sights on new record, Debjani makes his debut in the 5000m, Rosius for a ‘home run’

The 41st edition of the KBC Nacht will take place in Heusden-Zolder on Sunday. Cynthia Bolingo will be chasing a new Belgian record in the 300 metres in the De Veen stadium, whilst Ismael Debjani is facing his big debut in the 5000 metres. In the 100 metres event, we are looking forward to the talented sprinter from Limburg, Rani Rosius, who is running on her home territory.

Cynthia Bolingo is the brand-new Belgian record holder in the 300 metres with a time of 37,18 since last Saturday and she wants to run even faster at the KBC Nacht on Sunday. “The Heusden-Zolder track is super-fast”, says Bolingo. “I am currently in excellent shape, thanks to coach Carole Bam. I can feel that I have not yet reached my limit in the 300 metres. I am looking forward to delivering a breath-taking performance on Sunday together with my fellow-Cheetahs.” The international competition is made up of Hovenkamp from the Netherlands and Brossier from France.

Ismael Debjani, the Belgian record holder in the 1500 metres, is making his debut in the 5000 metres on Sunday. This race is organised every year in memory of the late Tom Compernolle. Tom ran a famous time of 13:14.75 in the pouring rain in 2004, it was a memorable performance. Another high-calibre Belgian athlete who will be appearing is Robin Hendrix. He is in great shape, after all he recorded a strong 7:54.69 in the 3000 metres last weekend. Competition comes from Norway with Per Svela and Germany with its national champion Muhammed Mohammed.

Sunday is promising to be a special KBC Nacht for Rani Rosius. The 20-year-old from Genk is a member of AVT, the organising club, and will be ‘playing a home game’ in the De Veen stadium. Last month, Rosius raced all the way to gold in the 100 metres during the Belgian championships in an astonishingly strong time of 11.39. This made her the second fastest Belgian ever, after Kim Gevaert. The expectations for Sunday will be high.


There will be more action from some strong fellow-countrymen in the 800 metres. In the women’s race, Renée Eykens will appear at the start. In a bid to get her time below 2:00.00 (her PR), Eykens will have to beat the international competition represented by Noelie Yarigo from Benin (currently in the top 8 in the world) and Canadian Butterworth. In the men’s race, Eliott Crestan is taking up the gauntlet in the strong and busy field that is the 800 metres event together with Spaniard Saul Ordonez (bronze at the World Athletics Indoor Championships and a PR of 1:43.65) and Kenyan Collins Kipruto (winner World Athletics Indoor Tour and unbeaten during the winter season).

In the women’s 1500 metres, Elise Vanderelst will be aiming for her season’s best and, who knows, a new Belgian record? At last year’s KBC Nacht, she missed it by a hair’s breadth. In the 400 metres hurdles, European U23 champion Paulien Couckuyt is making an appearance and the Belgian showstoppers in the high hurdles are Anne Zagré and Michael Obasuyi.

Talented high jumper Claire Orcel looks to have recovered just in time for a brief but powerful season. Her injury is definitely a thing of the past and she is keen to showcase her talent in Heusden-Zolder. Will she be able to beat her personal record of 1m94? The competition cannot be underestimated. Australian Nicola McDermott is topping the list this year with 1m96, followed closely by Erika Kinsey from Sweden. Belgian champion Merel Maes will also make an appearance.


Due to the corona pandemic, the meeting on Sunday will take place behind closed doors. There will be extensive highlights of the KBC Nacht on Sporza op Eén at 11:10pm.

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