Femke Bol is one of the top European Athletics stars of 2021. Her NR’s at 400m and 400m hurdles should impress many, and Femke should be a key player in the Tokyo Olympics at 400m hurdles and the 4x400m.
Stuart Weir did this piece on Femke Bol.
Femke Bol looked impressive again winning the 400H in Gateshead in 53.24.She has had an extraordinary year. Incredibly she has broken a Dutch national record 12 times alone this year.
5 at indoor 400m (50.63)
3 at outdoor 400m hurdles (52.37)
2 at outdoor 400m (50.37)
1 at indoor 4x400m (3:27.15)
1 at outdoor mixed 4x400m (3:18.04)
Bol commented afterwards: “It was nice that this time I was out in front of Shamier (Little) so it was mentally different because the other two times I have been chasing. So that was a really good exercise especially with Tokyo on my mind. I am really happy to run that time and, of course, I will take the win against such a strong group of girls. I couldn’t have had a better preparation for Tokyo and I cannot wait now. I am so excited I can finally go”.
At the pre-race press conference she was asked what time it would take to win in Tokyo but she would not be drawn: “I think in both the men’s and women’s, we are at a very high standard and it’s going to take a really fast time”. When the questioner followed it up by asking if she thought about Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad when she was training, she replied: “When I’m training I am just focusing on myself and my training but of course I look at their races and they’re really exciting and inspiring – but they’re not in my mind all the time”.
She also admitted that her times this year had taken her by surprise: “I was hoping to run a 52.9 this year – that was my goal – especially after the indoor season went so well. But to go as fast as I did, has been a surprise. For sure running so fast indoors has helped and given me confidence”.
Only 21, she is quick to take advice and acknowledge others. In the press conference she praised the Dutch National Coach, Charles van Commenee, who “made sure that everyone is working together as a team”.
In that World Athletics interview with Jess Whittington, she mentioned Dutch legend, Dafne Schippers: “Dafne once said to me: ‘Everywhere you go, it’s a track and you do your 400m hurdles’ and that’s really something I always keep in mind. OK, I’m at the Olympics, but it’s again just the 400m hurdles I have to do and do my best race. That’s mostly what I think, and having that experience of knowing how to recover between the heats, semis and final.”
That 400m hurdles race is an exciting prospect.