Events & Meetings

Bol launches season with a 22.64/49.69 double in Metz

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  • Bol launches season with a 22.64/49.69 double in Metz

World 400m hurdles champion Femke Bol stormed to a 49.69 clocking on her season’s debut at the Meeting Metz Moselle, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting, on Saturday (3) afternoon. 

Bol glided through the 200m mark in the lead in 23.93 and the two-time European Athlete of the Year didn’t show any signs of weakening on the lactic-inducing second lap, stopping the clock at a world leading time of 49.69.

Her time was also the sixth fastest in history indoors and ominously, her winning time of 49.69 compares very favourably to her season’s opener last year when she clocked 49.96 - her first sub-50 second indoor performance - on the same track before smashing the world indoor record with 49.26 only a few weeks later. 

“It’s amazing. Every time I run here, I run faster. It’s not going to be like this all the time but as long as it stays like that, I’ll be happy,” said Bol, who has won at this meeting every year since 2020. 

Bol returned to the track just over an hour after her 400m win and showed newfound speed with an outright lifetime best and Dutch indoor record of 22.64 in the 200m.

Bol’s next race will be in Lievin next Saturday followed by the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn the following weekend, the venue for Bol’s incredible world indoor 400m record of 49.26. 

Her coach Laurent Meuwly believes Bol is in better shape now - and today’s performances certainly give credence to this claim - although he said in a recent interview their main objective is to win the 400m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow from 1-3 March.  

Bol’s training partner Lieke Klaver, who had to relinquish her world lead of 50.53 from Ostrava, won a separate 400m in 51.33 ahead of France’s Amandine Brossier in 51.67. Klaver also won her 200m race in a 22.81 PB.

The run of Dutch success continued in the 60m hurdles with Nadine Visser stopping the clock at 7.80 - just 0.03 shy of her national record which was set at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun.

Records tumble in the 3000m

There were records aplenty in the women’s 3000m which was won by Ethiopia’s 1500m specialist Hirut Meshesha in a world leading time of 8:28.46.

Ireland’s Sarah Healy finished second in a national indoor record and outright lifetime best of 8:36.06 and Lisa Rooms, who was part of Belgium’s bronze medal-winning team at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Brussels, was rewarded with an outright Belgian record of 8:47.98 in fourth. 

18-year-old Sofia Thøgersen from Denmark took ownership of the European indoor U20 record with 8:50.26 in ninth, smashing the previous mark of 8:56.36 set by Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen in 2016. Thøgersen's time was also a Danish indoor senior record and she becomes the first ever Dane to break the 9:00-minute barrier indoors.

The Italian indoor 1500m record also fell for the third time in the space of a week. One evening after Federico Riva clocked 3:36.74 in Miramas, Ossama Meslak improved the mark to 3:36.04 to finish second in the 1500m behind Kenya’s Vincent Keter in 3:34.80.

In the last event of the programme, European cross country champion Yann Schrub won the 3000m in a lifetime best of 7:38.41, holding off a late sprint from Pietro Arese who broke the long-standing Italian indoor record with 7:38.42. Ireland's Darragh McElhinney was third, also in a lifetime best of 7:39.92.

Steven Mills for European Athletics


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