above: MouradLaachraoui (M) after winning the gold medal
Montreux (Switzerland), May 20: A Belgian whose elder brother was a suicide bomber in the terrorist attacks carried out in Brussels in March has won a gold medal at the European Taekwondo Championships.
Mourad Laachraoui, brother of Najim Laachraoui, won the 54 kilogram final here, on Thursday.
He triumphed over his 18-year-old opponent, Spanish fighter Jesus Tortosa 6-3 to lay his hands on the coveted trophy, reported the BBC on Friday.
Mourad is also set to compete in the Olympics in Rio and has said he was “scared and saddened” by his brother’s role in the attacks.
“Our family has the same questions you all have,’ he said. ‘He used to be a nice intelligent guy. I couldn’t believe it,” he earlier said.
The 21-year-old also spoke at a media conference in Brussels where he said that no one from his family had heard from his brother since 2013.
Twenty four-year-old Najim was one of the two men who were said to have carried out devastating blasts in the check-in area of Zaventem airport on March 22.
A third bomb was detonated at Maelbeek metro station shortly after, with a total of 32 people killed.
Prosecutors have also linked Najim to November’s attacks in Paris in which 130 people died.