Events & Meetings

Sub-50 for Femke! Bol sizzles to 49.96 400m in Metz

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  • Sub-50 for Femke! Bol sizzles to 49.96 400m in Metz

In her first 400m of the indoor season, treble European champion Femke Bol went to fourth on the world indoor all-time list with a scintillating solo display to break the 50-second barrier indoors  at the Metz Moselle Athlelor on Saturday (11) – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting.

Fresh from opening her season with a world indoor 500m best in Boston last weekend, the 22-year-old Dutch athlete went hard from the gun, going through 200m in under 24 seconds and holding on strongly to finish in 49.96 – the fastest time recorded indoors since 2004.

In what was the first of three women’s 400m races of the meeting, Bol’s time was the third fastest of her career so far and shows she is better than ever ahead of defending her European indoor 400m and 4x400m titles in Istanbul next month.


Behind Bol, Ireland’s Sharlene Mawdsley dipped under 52 seconds for the first time with 51.91 while Bol’s training partner Anna Kielbasinska from Poland also ran under 52 seconds to win the second of the the three 400m race of the evening in 51.49.

After a couple of hours rest, Bol returned to the track in the 200m to set another Dutch record with 22.87 – her fastest ever 200m indoors or outdoors. Kielbasinska took second in 23.17 and in the previous race, fellow training partner and Dutchwoman Lieke Klaver briefly took down her own meeting record to 22.97 before it was erased by Bol minutes later.

World leading mark of 2.02m for Mahuchikh

European indoor and outdoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh broke the meeting record with 1.98m to win the women’s high jump, before going on to set a world leading mark of 2.02m.

Mahuchikh went on to raise the bar to a prospective Ukrainian record of 2.07m, just one centimetre shy of the long-standing world indoor record of 2.08m set by Sweden’s Kajsa Bergqvist in 2006.


This height eluded Mahuchikh on this occasion but she could have another tilt at revising the record books on Tuesday (14) evening in Banska Bystrica, another event which will be streamed live through the European Athletics YouTube channel.

It was at the Banskobystricka latka in 2021 when Mahuchikh cleared her absolute lifetime best of 2.06m.  

Behind Mahuchikh, Britt Weerman from the Netherlands equalled her own national record of 1.96m, set just eight days before, to take second while Germany’s 2018 European champion Mateusz Przybylko was the only man over 2.24m in the men’s competition to take the win.

Two wins apiece for Belgium and France on the track

The men’s 400m produced the second and third fastest times in Europe this year, with Belgian 4x400m relay regular Alexander Doom finishing strongly to snatch the win in a meeting record of 46.06 ahead of Lionel Spitz, who set a new Swiss U23 record of 46.14.

Fellow Belgian Ismael Debjani reeled in France’s Louis Gilavert on the line to win the 1500m in 3:37.25 by 0.01. Despite ceding the victory in the last few metres, the Frenchman still came away with a lifetime best of 3:37.26.

An exciting finish in the 800m saw a European sweep with home favourite Benjamin Robert taking the win in 1:47.04 followed by Belgium’s world leader Tibo De Smet in 1:47.15 and Italian Catalin Tecuceanu third in 1:47.22.

In a good quality men’s 3000m which saw eight Europeans go under 7:50, European 10,000m bronze medallist Yann Schrub dropped down in distance to win in a personal best of 7:40.54 ahead of teammate Bastien Augusto in 7:42.10. 

In fourth place, Charles Grethen set a Luxembourgish record with 7:43.00. In total, six of the top eight finishers came away with lifetime bests.

Other highlights included world U20 200m champion Blessing Afrifah winning the rarely-run indoor 200m in an Israeli record of 20.95, breaking a 25-year-old mark in his first outing indoors over the distance,  and Belgium’s Ben Broeders finishing third in the pole vault with 5.77m behind the US duo of Sam Kendricks and Chris Nilsen who shared the victory at 5.82m. 

Nick Howard for European Athletics

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