It is inevitable that Femke Bol will surprise the world again this summer with top times on the athletics track. “Put the hurdles in the track. If you can run such a world record on the 400 meters indoors, she will soon also go a lot faster on the 400 meters hurdles,” predicts her coach Laurent Meuwly, who will compete at the Dutch National Championships on Sunday. indoor Bol saw an “unimaginable” 49.26 seconds with which she beat the 41-year-old global top time of the Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova.
He doesn’t dare to say how much faster Bol will go, but the Swiss knows one thing for sure: his pupil wants gold in the 400 meters hurdles at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August. “She still has something to prove.”
Bol, who has just broken through, won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Far ahead of her, American Sydney McLaughlin ran for gold. Last summer at the World Cup in Eugene, De Amersfoort met an even better McLaughlin, who captured the world title in an unparalleled world record of 50.68.
Bol considered himself lucky with the silver. She had lost, but she didn’t feel defeated in the least. McLaughlin was an “inspiration,” she said in Eugene. Bol threw himself even more intensively and disciplined into the training sessions. She has increased her speed and strength this winter with no injuries or pains and is working towards a hurdle race with just fourteen paces between the ten fences. Her coach Meuwly calls that “strengthening her weaknesses without weakening her strengths”.
“I doubted for a long time whether Femke should do indoor competitions, because it is hard work to be able to make those fourteen steps between the hurdles,” says Meuwly. “It’s a completely different gait, very efficient and much closer to her natural gait.”
Bol’s great talent revealed itself again to the coach. “Femke is a fast learner. She picks it up so well. The first normal hurdle training she was already faster than when she ran the European record shortly before the Games in Tokyo. I am impressed and really curious what she will do this summer doing.”
First come the European indoor championships in Istanbul in less than two weeks. The head coach of hurdles and sprints at the Athletics Union understands that Bol wants to go for gold there. And maybe there is also an improvement in her world record. “That 49.26 is incredibly fast, but I saw in her first game of the season in Boston that she had a record. When you run a 500 meters for the first time and immediately set the best time ever, you are in shape. And when she ran 49.96 in Metz shortly afterwards with a jet lag in her legs, I knew enough. That world record would go.”
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