Femke Bol didn’t show too many ill-effects from running six high quality races at the Olympic Games as the Dutch star strode to another victory in the 400m hurdles in front of a capacity crowd at the Lausanne Diamond League on Thursday (26) evening in 53.05.
Bol was pressured by former world U20 champion Shamier Little off the ninth hurdle but while her US rival stuttered at the tenth hurdle, the 21-year-old Dutchwoman cleared it brilliantly before utilising her momentum to drive to another clear-cut and commanding victory, winning by more than three-quarters-of-a-second from Little in 53.78 with Ukraine’s Hanna Ryzhykova third in 54.32.
“After the Olympics I was mentally tired. But the public helps enormously. I am still in shape, so I am happy,” said Bol whose winning time also eclipsed the meeting record of 53.08 which was set by Nezha Bidouane in 1999, one year before Bol was born.
In her post-race comments, Bol was effusive in her praise for her training partner and home favourite Lea Sprunger who is retiring at the end of the season.
The reigning European champion bade farewell to her fans in Lausanne with a solid fifth-place finish in 54.75, only 0.25 behind Tokyo Olympic silver medallist and reigning world champion Dalilah Muhammad in fourth, before anchoring ‘Team Lea’ to a fourth-place finish in the 4x100m to close the programme.
“It is special to be here in Switzerland with Lea. The spectators were applauding even more. I have run a lot of competitions with her so it is special for me to be here with her. She is from the region, so it is great that I can share this moment with my friend. I am really happy for her,” said Bol.
Bol will be in action again on Saturday in the Paris Diamond League where she will contest the 400m flat at the Charlety Stadium.
Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen fell short of the European record he was hoping to challenge in the 3000m but the Olympic 1500m champion added yet another victory to his growing winning streak across a gamut of distances.
Ingebrigtsen talked ambitiously about challenging the long-standing continental mark of 7:26.62 - another mark which was set before the pursuer was even born - in the pre-race press conference but the breezy trackside conditions didn't prove conducive to a revision of the record books. The effects of a long and arduous season might also be catching up with the seemingly indefatigable Norwegian who began his year by winning a 1500/3000m double at the European Indoor Championships.
Only five days after winning the Bowerman Mile in Eugene, some eight timezones away, in a world lead of 3:47.24 - the second fastest time ever by a European - Ingebrigtsen still came out victorious ahead of Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi who made up significant ground in the last 600 metres - 7:33.06 to 7:33.39 - but the Norwegian looked visibly tired after his exploits tonight.
"That was a tough one because of what I've been doing over the last couple of weeks but I wanted this win really badly,” said the always competitive Ingebrigtsen.
Likewise, teammate and fellow Olympic champion Karsten Warholm suffered an uncharacteristic defeat in the 400m flat in his first race since winning the 400m hurdles in Tokyo in a world record of 45.94.
On an evening when many thought Thomas Schonlebe's European record of 44.33 might be surpassed, Warholm was fourth in 45.51 in a race won by Vernon Norwood from the United States in 45.17. "It is not the place I was hoping for. But it is what it is. It shows that it is difficult to come back after the Olympics," said Warholm.
Mariya Lasitskene followed up her Olympic success with another victory in the high jump in Lausanne. Her first-time clearance at 1.98m proved crucial as she took the win on countback ahead of Olympic bronze medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh from Ukraine.
Germany's Johannes Vetter produced the longest throw of the evening in the javelin with 88.54m before prevailing in the winner-takes-all Final Three format with 86.34m. By contrast, Sweden's Khaddi Sagnia jumped 6.92m in the third round of the long jump but Serbia's Ivana Spanovic took the spoils courtesy of a jump of 6.73m to Sagnia's 6.64m in the Final Three.
Full results here.