Belgian Cross Championships: John Heymans crowned in the sprint ahead of Dieter Kersten, Mieke Gorissen titled in the ladies’ category
John Heymans became Belgian cross country champion on Sunday at Parc de Laeken at the end of the 9,000m course. The Leuven player was very authoritarian, winner in 27.15, with Dieter Kersten. A group of six athletes quickly found themselves in the lead. Dieter Kersten’s attack two laps from the end hit the nail on the head. Only John Heymans, 22, managed to follow him and was the most powerful at the end of the race winning the sprint to clinch his first title. The Brabançon will contest the Euro in Torun indoors over 3,000m, a distance over which he is also Belgian champion. Dieter Kersten, already second last year, and who is training for the marathon, is once again vice-champion of Belgium. Lander Tijtgat, 37, 4th last year, completes the podium ahead of Lahsene Bouchiki, 4th, and Arnaud Dely, 5th.
Among the women, Mieke Gorissen, 38, became Belgian champion for the first time adding a national title to her record after the one won last October in the 10 km road race and the half marathon in 2019. She l ‘won solo in 20.55, with a large lead over Eline Dalemans. The two athletes were in the lead from the first hectometers. Dalemans was however caught at the start of the last of the six laps, for a total of 6,000m, by Hanna Vandenbussche, winner in 2019.
Ruben Querinjean wins the cross court
On the short cross side, over 2,000m, Lotte Scheldeman from Limburg, 23, 2nd last year, is Belgian champion ahead of Gaumaise Juliette Thomas, 20. The Bertrigeoise Lucie Grandjean, 17, 3rd, completed the podium. Sacred last year, Jenna Wyns had to settle for 8th place.
For the men, over 2,500m, Ruben Querinjean, 19, from Malmedy, surprised everyone, starting with Thomas Vanoppen, 2nd and Simon Debognies, 3rd. Outgoing champion Robin Hendrix was absent, preparing for Torun’s Euro as well.
The athletes had no competition to prepare for these Belgian championships. This Brussels round could also be the only one of the CrossCup this season. Only the test in Roeselare, on March 21, could still take place depending on the evolution of the health crisis.