08 May, 2019

Rising Stars - Claire Orcel: “Ambitious for WC and Olympic Games”

The AG Memorial Van Damme on Sep., 6th is the last stepping stone ahead of the World Championships in Doha. In our preview of what promises to become an exciting athletics summer we introduce 6 young Belgian athletes who have a chance to qualify for the World Championships. High Jumper Claire Orcel is the 5th of 6 rising stars who have a dream of reaching the World Championships.

Claire Orcel is only the 6th Belgian athlete to jump 1,90m. Orcel already set her footprint in qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games and for the World Junior Championships. Last summer she competed in the European Championships in Berlin and this winter she surprised herself in qualifying for the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

“Glasgow came as a big surprise, because I struggled with a little injury, so I had to limit myself to 2 indoor competitions. At the National Championships I reached the Entry Standard, although it didn’t feel as I was jumping very consistent. Glasgow was an important experience for me, it is good to learn from Championships like these. I am convinced that it will bring me to a higher level this summer”, says Orcel.

Next summer Orcel’s sights will be set on the WC in Doha, but she will need to cross 1,94cm, which is 3cm above her PB. “I am clearly stating that Doha is my objective for this summer. 1,94m is within my potential, although I will need to work very hard for it. It would be very rewarding if I could qualify for my first ever World Championships in Athletics”, adds the young high jumper.

The 2020 Olympic Games are also glimpsing around the corner. There the requested level is more elevated still, while she will require 1,96m to qualify. But she can also qualify through the World Rankings, because a spot in the Top 30 will also earn her a ticket for Tokio. “The Entry Standard is very difficult but I count on the World Ranking to qualify. But therefore I will need to perform well so that I have guaranteed access to relevant competitions. Anyway, I will do everything I can to qualify for Tokio”, concludes Orcel.

At the AG Memorial Van Damme Orcel gets an exceptional opportunity to make her bid for the World Championships and – who knows – for the Olympic Games. “Every athlete has of dream to be part of the Memorial. I would very much like to participate, but it mainly depends on the fact if Nafi Thiam will compete. It surely is on my bucketlist to jump in the packed King Baudouin Stadium in front of my home crowd. I already had the opportunity to compete at the Diamond League in Paris, but Brussels still is a different level”, says Orcel.