MAY 28 — Femke Bol had a fantastic start to her outdoor season, setting the fastest-ever season opener in the women’s 400m hurdles at the IFAM Meeting in Oordegem, Belgium on Saturday (27). She clocked a world-leading time of 53.10 seconds at the meet, which is part of the 2023 World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger series.
Femke Bol tests new 14-stride approach
Bol, who had an impressive indoor season and set a world record of 49.26 seconds in the open 400m, was testing her new 14-step racing pattern in a competitive race for the first time. Despite some imperfections, the world silver medalist managed to run the fastest time in the world this year and achieved the quickest-ever season opener.
Her coach, Laurent Meuwly, provided some insights into her first outdoor race in 2023. He shared on his Twitter account, “World lead in 53.12 for Femke in Oordegem. It was the first tryout with 14 steps to Hurdle 7. This part went well for a first attempt. The rest still needs some work. But it’s still the fastest season opener ever.”
Meanwhile, Bol also acknowledged that she encountered some difficulties with her new approach in the latter parts of the race.
She was quoted as telling NOS, “I specifically wanted to take fourteen strides to the seventh hurdle, which went well. After that, it became a bit messy.
“The fact that this time still came out shows that those fourteen strides work well. I still had a lot left at the end, so I’m very happy,” Bol added.
Viivi Lehikoinen of Finland finished a distant second with a time of 55.35 seconds, while Cathelijn Peeters from the Netherlands came in third with a time of 55.44 seconds.
In the men’s 400m race, another Dutch athlete, Nick Smidt, emerged victorious with a personal best time of 48.70 seconds, defeating European bronze medalist Thomas Barr from Ireland, who clocked 49.05 seconds. Seamus Derbyshire of Great Britain finished third with a time of 49.42 seconds.
In another notable result at the IFAM Meeting in Oordegem, Mohamed Ismail of Djibouti set a national record of 13:11.13 to win the 5000m event. Yann Schrub, the European 10,000m bronze medalist from France, finished second with a personal best time of 13:11.44.
Men’s 400m Hurdles:
- Nick Smidt (Netherlands) – 48.70
- Thomas Barr (Ireland) – 49.05
- Seamus Derbyshire (Great Britain) – 49.42
- Gabriele Montefalcone (Italy) – 49.43
- Chris McAlister (Great Britain) – 49.67
- Bienvenu Sawadogo (Burkina Faso) – 51.49
DNF. Alastair Chalmers (Great Britain)
Women’s 400m Hurdles:
- Femke Bol (Netherlands) – 53.12
- Viivi Lehikoinen (Finland) – 55.35
- Cathelijn Peeters (Netherlands) – 55.44
- Jessie Knight (Great Britain) – 55.67
- Line Kloster (Norway) – 55.96
- Hanne Claes (Belgium) – 56.1
- Viktoriya Tkachuk (Ukraine) – 56.44 DNF. Jessica Turner (Great Britain)
- Mohamed Ismail (Djibouti) – 13:11.13
- Yann Schrub (France) – 13:11.44
- Henrik Ingebrigtsen (Norway) – 13:13.99
- Robin Hendrix (Belgium) – 13:14.32
- Etienne Daguinos (France) – 13:15.26
- Keneth Kiprop (Uganda) – 13:15.90
- Mohamed Al Garni (Qatar) – 13:16.28
- Dan Kibet (Uganda) – 13:16.31
- Tim Verbaandert (Netherlands) – 13:17.67
- Jerry Motsau (South Africa) – 13:22.17
- Per Svela (Norway) – 13:22.46
- Alexis Miellet (France) – 13:22.55
- Donovan Christien (France) – 13:22.61
- Niels Laros (Netherlands) – 13:23.01
- Rogers Kibet (Uganda) – 13:23.21
- Carlos Mayo (Spain) – 13:23.46
- Charles Wheeler (Great Britain) – 13:25.62
- Mahadi Abdi Ali (Netherlands) – 13:26.33
- Ian Crowe-Wright (Great Britain) – 13:28.08
- Yani Khelaf (France) – 13:28.76