Femke Bol, the reigning World 400m hurdles champion, made a stunning start to her indoor season at the Meeting Metz Moselle, a prestigious World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver event, held last Saturday (3). Demonstrating her exceptional form, Bol stormed to victory with a world-leading time of 49.69 seconds, marking an auspicious beginning to her campaign this year.
Bol, who has been named European Athlete of the Year twice, showcased her dominance from the start, leading at the 200m mark with a time of 23.93 seconds. She maintained her formidable pace throughout the challenging second lap, culminating in a time that not only sets the pace worldwide for the year but also etches her name as the sixth fastest in the indoor history of the event.
This performance is a notable improvement over her season opener last year on the same track, where she broke the sub-50-second barrier with a time of 49.96. She later shattered the world indoor record with a time of 49.26, hinting at the potential for even more groundbreaking achievements this season.
Reflecting on her victory, Bol expressed her delight, emphasizing the venue's significance in her career, "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.”
Not content with just one victory, Bol returned to the track shortly after her 400m triumph to set a new outright lifetime best and Dutch indoor record in the 200m with a time of 22.64 seconds, showcasing her incredible speed and versatility.
Bol is scheduled to compete next at Lievin, followed by an appearance at the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn, the site of her world-record performance. Her coach, Laurent Meuwly, has expressed confidence in her current form, highlighting their focus on clinching the 400m title at the upcoming World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow.
The Meeting Metz Moselle also saw impressive performances from Bol's training partner, Lieke Klaver, and a record-breaking run in the women's 3000m, led by Ethiopia's Hirut Meshesha, alongside notable achievements from athletes across various events, setting the stage for an exciting indoor season.
In other events, Benjamin Robert captivated the audience by establishing a new French record in the 600m, clocking in at an impressive 1:15.50. Meanwhile, in the men's 3000m, French athlete Yann Schrub narrowly edged out Italy's Pietro Arese by a mere 0.01 seconds to claim victory with a time of 7:38.41.
The women's 3000m race was a showcase of record-breaking performances, led by Ethiopia's 1500m expert Hirut Meshesha who clinched the victory in a world-leading 8:28.46. Ireland's Sarah Healy secured second place, setting a new national indoor record and achieving a personal best with a time of 8:36.06. 18-year-old Sofia Thøgersen of Denmark shattered the European indoor U20 record, clocking in at 8:50.26 for ninth place.