Belgian athletes win 6 medals at the Olympic Games in Brazil


Belgian athletes gave outstanding performances at the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In total, our compatriots earned six medals and 19 Olympic diplomas, for which Belgium achieved 35th place in the medal rankings.

Cyclist Greg Van Avermaet was the first Belgian to win a gold medal after a hard-fought final. However, the extremely challenging course in Rio de Janeiro was not exactly to the Belgian cyclist's liking given that a lot of climbing kilometres had to be negotiated. Nonetheless, Greg Van Avermaet enjoyed a fantastic day in which he easily took the lead over his opponents at the final sprint.

Nafi Thiam was also crowned Olympic champion in the heptathlon. Her first day went pretty much perfectly as she finished second in the general classification. The next day was even better as the Belgian athlete moved into first place, smashing four personal bests in the process. In the 800m final event, Thiam had to give everything she had to retain her first place.

In swimming, Pieter Timmers came second in the 100 metre freestyle, swimming's main event. With this performance, Pieter Timmers follows in the footsteps of Fred Deburghgraeve, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. The Belgian men's hockey team, the Red Lions, also won a silver medal, after they were unfortunately beaten in the final by a more efficient Argentina.

In addition to two gold and two silver medals, two bronze medals were also bagged for our country. Judoist Dirk Van Tichelt won a medal for the first time in his career at this level. Nonetheless, he had to contend with a number of formidable opponents. The Belgian judoist didn't let that put him off. He won the fight convincingly to obtain third place. Additionally, Jolien D’hoore came third in the omnium event, one of the track cycling events. The cyclist had to give her all over two days, but she finally succeeded in her mission.

To cap it all, the Belgian 4x100m women's team from 2008 also received good news. The Russian runner Yuliya Chermoshanskaya tested positive for doping which meant that the Russian relay race team forfeited their gold medal. Kim Gevaert, Olivia Borlée, Hanna Mariën and Elodie Ouedraogo consequently won the 4x100m from the Olympic Games in Beijing.