Treble European champion Femke Bol didn't just break - but shattered - one of the longest standing world records on the books on the second day of the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn on Sunday (19) afternoon.
With a performance she described as "almost perfect," Bol stopped the clock in the 400m at a sparkling 49.26 to displace the previous world indoor record of 49.59 which had stood to Jarmila Kratochvilova since 1982, some 18 years before Bol was born in 2000.
Bol has been in devastating form all year, beginning her campaign with a world indoor 500m best in Boston before breaking the 50 second-barrier indoors in the 400m for the first time last weekend in Metz with 49.96.
But this performance marks another milestone in the remarkable and ascending career of Femke Bol. The 22-year-old has previously set world bests in the 300m hurdles and 500m but this was her first world record.
"I was hoping for a 49.5 here, but 49.26. I really have no words for this," an incredulous Bol told Dutch media after her record-breaking feat. "It is my first world record at a real distance. Could it be even faster? This was almost a perfect race."
Her training partner Lieke Klaver tracked Bol home and was also rewarded with a massive indoor lifetime best of 50.34.
This was Bol’s last race before the Istanbul 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships from 2-5 March where she will defend her titles in the 400m and 4x400m relay.
Bol's world record breaking exploits deservedly took centre stage on a frantically busy weekend of domestic action but there was a string of other notable performances in Apeldoorn.
Isayah Boers won the men's 400m in 45.72 ahead of Olympic finalist Liemarvin Bonevacia in 45.83 and European champion Jessica Schilder won the shot put title with 19.22m. Menno Vloon also cleared 5.82m in the pole vault.
Steven Mills for European Athletics