Femke Bol gives the public at the National Indoor Championships what it wants: a world record

She was the only woman under fifty seconds this season, so expectations were high. It is not without reason that the Dutch athletics championships were sold out for the first time in fifteen years. Five thousand spectators came to Omnisport on Sunday to see Femke Bol run a world record in the 400 meters. Just like last year, when she improved the 41-year-old global top time of Jarmilla Kratochvilova in Apeldoorn by more than three-tenths of a second to 49.26. Last week, Bol ran her second best time over two laps (49.63) in Liévin, France, after having already recorded 49.69 in Metz the week before. So the form was good, but was it also a world record?

In the final, 23-year-old Bol was allowed to start in the outdoor track, after she had run the fastest time of all participants in the semi-final (50.55). After the first round of 200 meters, she entered the final round ahead of her only competitor Lieke Klaver and did not relinquish the lead. When the clock showed a time of 49.24, the crowd knew they had gotten what they came for. Many will have missed the fact that Klaver ran a personal record (50.10) in Bol’s wake.

The 400 meters indoors is important for De Bol, she gains the speed she needs in the outdoor season for the 400 meters hurdles, the event in which she became world champion for the first time last summer. She will also go for Olympic gold in the hurdles in Paris in August.

Bol first wants to win the world title in the 400 meters this indoor season, at the beginning of March in Glasgow. World Cup gold is still missing from her list of honors, two years ago in Belgrade she won silver behind Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas. (NRC, ANP)