Femke Bol with her world indoor 400m record time in Apeldoorn (© Erik van Leeuwen)
Femke Bol stormed to a sensational time of 49.26* to break the world indoor 400m record on the second day of the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn on Sunday (19).
The 22-year-old dipped under 50 seconds for the first time indoors with 49.96 in Metz last weekend but in Apeldoorn she took 0.7 off that mark to better the world indoor record of 49.59 set by Jarmila Kratochvilova on 7 March 1982, almost 18 years before Bol was even born.
It is faster than Bol's outdoor PB of 49.44 that she set to win the European title in Munich last year, part of a gold medal treble that also included titles in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m, and is a time that only 20 other athletes have ever beaten outdoors.
"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, who sits third on the world 400m hurdles all-time list with the European record of 52.03 she ran to get Olympic bronze in Tokyo. "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 400m hurdles silver 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, having broken one of the longest-standing records on the books.
In Apeldoorn, Bol got a typical strong start and went through 200m in 23.63 before surging over the finish line in 49.26, chased by her training partner Lieke Klaver who was second in big indoor PB of 50.34.
"It was because of all the fans here that I ran this record," Bol said after her race at the Omnisport arena. "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."
It is the third world record set in four days, Bol's mark following the men's world indoor 3000m record set by Lamecha Girma in Lievin on Wednesday (15) and the men's world shot put record achieved by Ryan Crouser in Idaho on Saturday (18).
Bol will now target further success at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, taking place between 2-5 March.
Elsewhere in Apeldoorn on Sunday, Isayah Boers won the men’s 400m ahead of Liemarvin Bonevacia as both athletes dipped under 46 seconds, 45.72 to 45.83.
Menno Vloon won his fifth national indoor pole vault title with a 5.82m clearance, while Jessica Schilder won the women’s shot put with a 19.22m throw.
*Subject to the usual ratification procedure
On a busy weekend of National Indoor Championships action, many athletes were on the hunt for European Indoor Championships places as well as national titles. Day two of the Spanish Indoor Championships in Madrid saw Jordan Diaz jump a world lead and national indoor record of 17.59m to win the men’s triple jump, the 21-year-old’s series also including leaps of 17.58m and 17.50m. Enrique Llopis clocked 7.48 to match the Spanish 60m hurdles record, while Oscar Husillos won the men’s 400m in a Spanish record of 45.58.
On the second day of the Swiss Indoor Championships in St. Gallen, Jason Joseph and Ditaji Kambundji both set national records in the 60m hurdles. Joseph won the men’s race in 7.44 having clocked 7.45 in the heats, while Kambundji won the women’s race in 7.81.
Olympic and world champion Malaika Mihambo leapt 6.66m to win the long jump at the German Indoor Championships in Dortmund. Tobias Poyte cleared 2.28m to top the men's high jump.
At the Irish Indoor Championships in Dublin, Israel Olatunde won the men’s 60m in a national record of 6.57, while Mark English claimed his ninth Irish indoor 800m title in 1:52.47.
Day two of the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona featured a men’s 60m win for Samuele Ceccarelli ahead of world indoor 60m champion and Olympic 100m gold medallist Marcell Jacobs. Improving his PB by 0.04, Ceccarelli claimed the title in 6.54, pipping Jacobs by 0.01.
Leonardo Fabbri threw 21.60m to take the men’s shot put title ahead of Zane Weir (21.46m) and Nick Ponzio (20.60m).
Polish Indoor Championships action continued in Torun, where Natalia Kaczmarek improved the national indoor 400m record she had set just four days earlier in Lievin, taking her best from 50.90 to 50.83.
There was a men’s 3000m win for Michał Rozmys in 7:54.93, while Jakub Szymanski won the men’s 60m hurdles ahead of Damian Czykier, 7.53 to 7.63.
The final day of UK Indoor Championships action in Birmingham saw Ellie Baker win the women’s 1500m in a championship record of 4:06.73, narrowly ahead of Katie Snowden who ran 4:06.98. Melissa Courtney-Bryant won a 3000m duel with Hannah Nuttall, 8:50.76 to 8:50.85, while Neil Gourley won the men’s 1500m in 3:41.20 from George Mills in 3:42.87. Jazmin Sawyers claimed her second national indoor title, seven years on from her first, leaping 6.73m.
At the French Indoor Championships in Aubiere, Just Kwaou-Mathey won the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.53 ahead of Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and Dimitri Bascou, who both ran 7.58.
Benjamin Compaore won his second French indoor triple jump title, 11 years after his first, leaping 16.95m. Victory in the women’s long jump was claimed by Tiphaine Mauchant who recorded a best of 6.56m.