Bol opens her season with world 500m best in Boston

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  • Bol opens her season with world 500m best in Boston

Femke Bol made a perfect start to her indoor season at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston by setting a women’s 500m world best of 1:05.63.

The 22-year-old Dutch runner, who has Olympic bronze and world silver medals at 400m hurdles, laid down a huge marker for a season where she hopes, firstly, to defend her European indoor 400m title in Istanbul before seeking a first global gold at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Her committed performance jump-started the second World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of the season, which was making its debut appearance at the TRACK at New Balance meeting in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Bol eclipsed the 17-year-old mark of 1:06.31 to finish almost three seconds clear of Jamaica’s Leah Anderson, who recorded a national record of 1:08.34.

But she was typically pragmatic afterwards as she commented: “It’s really for my 400m hurdles, because you need a strong last part."

She knows that well enough having seen her huge effort in Oregon last year bettered by an extraordinary late surge from home athlete Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone en route to an equally extraordinary world record of 50.68, metres faster than Bol’s personal best of 52.03.

Bol  added: “I’m just super happy to have it worked out like this. No, I’m not planning to go further than 500m. Now I’m moving to some 400s before I do the European Indoor Championships.”

Britain’s Laura Muir, who has the possibility of winning a third consecutive 1500/3,000m double at next month’s European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul, got her season off to a winning start in the 3000m, where she moved clear of all but fellow Briton Melissa Courtney-Bryant by the halfway point before coming home in 8:40.34, with her compatriot second in 8:41.09 and two other Britons who ran personal bests in third and fourth place – Katie Snowdon in 8:47.41, and Hannah Nuttall in 8:47.72.

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Ireland’s Ciara Mageean, who took 1500m silver behind Muir at last year’s European Athletics Championships in Munich, looked out of sorts after completing a tough training block and failed to finish.

Despite getting himself boxed in on the run-in, Britain’s Neil Gourley beat New Zealand’s longtime leader Sam Tanner on the line to win the men’s mile by one hundredth of a second in 3:52.84, a personal best and the fastest time run this season.

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