Coaching changes in store for Mihambo and the Borlees

Malaika Mihambo
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Germany's Malaika Mihambo won the world long jump title in Doha last October

Reigning world and European long jump champion Malaika Mihambo has a new coach: Carl Lewis, regarded by most observers as the greatest long jumper in history.

Mihambo is planning to relocate to Houston, Texas this summer when she will work with not only Lewis but also with former world 100m record-holder Leroy Burrell who will help the German to further improve her speed.

"I want to develop as an athlete and as a person. This is the case in this environment. Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell, who will become my sprint coach, have been among the world elite for years. I can learn a lot from them because they followed the same path," said Mihambo.

Mihambo crowned her 2019 outdoor season by winning the world long jump title in Doha with 7.30m, just six centimetres shy of the championship record. These exploits helped Mihambo to the accolade of German Sportswoman of the Year across all sports.

The 26-year-old also broke into the world indoor all-time top-10 this winter after sailing out to 7.07m at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin.

The Borlees have been the standard bearers of European 400m running for more than a decade but Kevin, Jonathan and Dylan will be focusing on new events this summer.

To assist their preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year when they are expected to feature in both the 400m and 4x400m relay, the Borlees will be sharpening under the tutelage of renowned French coach Guy Ontanon.

“Moving down to the 100m and 200m is never a bad idea, as they will be able to use the speed next year. I have been standing on the track with my sons for 15 years now and they deserve a summer without having to see my face there too,” said the Borlees’ long-time coach and father Jacques.

Ontanon is expected to visit the brothers on a regular basis in Belgium and the trio will also make trips to the INSEP, the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance in Paris.

Tokyo next year would be Kevin and Jonathan’s fourth Olympics. They have helped Belgium to three top-six finishes in the 4x400m relay and they were fifth and sixth in the individual 400m in London 2012.