Clijsters and Gilbert honoured

The tennis player Kim Clijsters and the cyclist Philippe Gilbert are Belgium’s sportswoman and sportsman of the year. They were given their awards during a gala at Ostend’s Casino Kursaal on Sunday evening. The snooker player Luca Brecel was given the award for the most promising sportsman or woman. The Belgian men’s 4x400 metre relay team was crowned 2010 team of the year.

Clijsters beat off stiff competition from the athletes Svetlana Bolshakova en Ann Wauters.

It’s the seventh time that Clijsters has been voted Belgian Sportswoman of the Year.

The tennis star from Limburg province won five tournaments during 2010 and is now third in the WTA rankings.

Clijsters was also voted Sportswoman of the Year in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2009.

If she wins the award one more time she will equal the record set by the judoka Ingrid Berghmans in the 1980’s.

Sportsman of the year Philippe Gilbert beat of competition from Philippe Le Jeune and Kevin Borlée.

Gilbert won seven races in 2010, including the Tour of Lombardy and the Amstel Gold Race.

The 28-year-old from Liège province has also won the 2010 Crystal Bike, the Flandrien of the Year and the French-language Community Sport Prize.