Dutch athlete Femke Bol (© AFP / Getty Images)
World 400m hurdles champion Femke Bol got her 2024 campaign off to a stunning start at the Metz Moselle Athleor – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting – on Saturday (3) by smashing through the 50-second barrier for 400m.
Contesting her first race of the season, Bol blazed around two laps of the track in 49.69 – the equal sixth-fastest clocking in history, and just 0.43 shy of her own world indoor record. She won the race by almost two seconds as Romania’s Andrea Miklos took second place in 51.41.
Just one hour later, Bol was back on track for the 200m and she came away with a Dutch indoor record of 22.64, an improvement of 0.23 on her own mark set at this meeting last year.
Bol’s training partner Lieke Klaver also did a long sprints double, winning her races in 51.33 and 22.81.
On a good day for Dutch athletes, two-time European indoor champion Nadine Visser won the 60m hurdles in 7.80, the second-fastest clocking of her career.
World indoor 1500m bronze medallist Hirut Meshesha made a stunning debut over 3000m. The 23-year-old Ethiopian won in a world-leading 8:28.46 – enough for 13th place on the world indoor all-time list – to win by almost eight seconds from Sarah Healy, who set an Irish record of 8:36.06.
The men’s 3000m was much closer as Yann Schrub won by just 0.01 in 7:38.41 from Italy’s Pietro Arese.
Uganda’s 2019 world champion Halimah Nakaayi got her indoor campaign under way with a world-leading 800m victory in 1:59.15 with world and Olympic finalist Jemma Reekie taking second place in 1:59.42.
Botswana’s Tshepiso Masalela was a convincing winner of the men’s race in a national indoor record of 1:45.56.
Elsewhere, Chris Nilsen won the pole vault with 5.82m and Belgium’s Alexander Doom took the 400m in 45.89.