Femke Bol next to her 400m world indoor record clock

Femke Bol stormed to a sensational time of 49.26 seconds to break the world indoor 400m record at the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn on Sunday (19).

The 22-year-old dipped under 50 seconds for the first time with 49.96 in Metz last weekend, and she returned confidently in Apeldoorn to take 0.7 off that mark to improve the world indoor record of 49.59 secs, which was set by Jarmila Kratochvilova on 7 March 1982.

“I was hoping to run the record, of course, but in life you hope for a lot of things and most of the time it does not happen,” said Bol. “I am glad that I did not just get the record, but that I improved it by a big margin.

“I wanted this record so badly and I knew I had to make sure to be first going into the final lap. Compared to Lievin (where she ran 50.20 four days earlier) I could really power through between 200m and 300m, and that made the difference.”

It’s not the first time that Bol has made history. The world and Olympic 400m hurdles medallist set a world 300m hurdles best of 36.86 in Ostrava last year and in her first race of this season she ran a world indoor 500m best of 1:05.63 in Boston.

Now she has a world record on her CV, too.

“It was because of all the fans here that I ran this record,” Bol said after her race at the Omnisport arena and reported by World Athletics. “Never have I ever seen that many people here.

“When I crossed the line I knew that the record was mine, because of the noise that the crowd made.”

In Apeldoorn, Bol made her typical aggressive start and went through 200m in 23.63 before surging over the finish line in 49.26, comfortably dominating the chasing Lieke Klaver, who finished a distant second place with a time in 50.34.

This race marks Bol’s final competition before the 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul, which will take place from March 2nd to 5th. She will aim to defend her titles in the 400m and 4x400m relay races at the event.

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