Dutch athlete Femke Bol broke the world indoor 400m record at the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn on Sunday, clocking a sensational time of 49.26.
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The 22-year-old had dipped under 50 seconds for the first time last weekend in Metz, with 49.96. However, in Apeldoorn, she managed to take off 0.7 seconds from her previous mark to break the world indoor record of 49.59 set by Jarmila Kratochvilova on 7 March 1982.
Bol, a world and Olympic 400m hurdles medallist, has already made history before. She set a world 300m hurdles best of 36.86 in Ostrava last year, and in her first race of this season, she ran a world indoor 500m best of 1:05.63 in Boston. With this new world record, she has added another remarkable achievement to her CV, breaking one of the longest-standing records in the books.
Bol’s strong start in Apeldoorn allowed her to cover the first 200m in 23.63 seconds before crossing the finish line in 49.26 seconds, with Lieke Klaver in second place with a time of 50.34 seconds.
Speaking after the race at the Omnisport arena, Bol credited the enthusiastic crowd for helping her set the record: “It was because of all the fans here that I ran this record. Never have I ever seen that many people here. When I crossed the line, I knew that the record was mine, because of the noise that the crowd made.”