This is Stuart Weir’s 4th piece on Day 2. It is early on Day 3, and Stuart is working in Oxford and I am editing in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. We have photographers and several writers in the arena. 

What a weekend of track and field! 

And yes, we think Femke Bol is pretty amazing. 

Femke Bol walks on water

She doesn’t, but would you be surprised if there was a video of her doing it?

World champion in the 400h last year. European champion in 2022 in the open 400, the 400 hurdles, and the women’s 4 by 400 relay. And now world indoor champion and indoor world record holder!

The result of the Glasgow 400m was

1 Femke Bol 49.17 WR

2 Lieke Klaver 50.16

3 Alexis Holmes 50.24

Bol’s assessment of her performance was: “It was amazing. It was such a strong race I knew I had to go out fast. My coach told me, ‘You can run faster,’ but I just want to win. This is great because I’ve not done hurdles for four weeks, which gives me confidence. And getting this with Lieke is so good for our sport and team. I am missing the hurdles. I like the 400, and I must say I like the indoors a bit more than the outdoors. It is just great to race. I enjoyed racing, and the atmosphere and this competition were amazing. I just enjoy racing and enjoying this race in the championship. The atmosphere was amazing“. [Please note: she breaks the world record, and her coach berates her for not running faster!]

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 2: Image of Femke BOL at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 2, 2024, in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Bol and Klaver will be on the Dutch women’s relay team, and the team spirit there is good. Lieke Klaver revealed that her relay teammates had brought her coffee in bed on the morning of the individual race. Bol commented on how nice it was to go 1-2 with Lieke, a training partner.

Femke is a busy athlete. Compare her with her hurdles rival, Sydney McLaughlin – OK, Sydney did have some injuries – but in 2023, Sydney ran 6 times and Femke 29 times.

Netherlands takes gold and silver, Lieke Klaver with silver, Femke Bol with gold, photo by Martin Bateman.

There are so many things to like about Femke Bol, both the athlete and the person. Always happy to speak to the media after a race. She started running as a child: “I was seven or eight because my brother was doing it. It seemed fun, so I asked to do it. Many of my friends were there, and we just enjoyed attending all the meets and competitions. In 2015 I went to my first championship [European Youth Olympic Festival, Tbilisi] after winning Dutch Under 18 champs in 56.14] and that was when I started to run 400. Qualifying for the championship made me think I might have some talent”.

Finally – because I know you wanted to know – in the week of International Women’s Day, she revealed that her female heroine is her mum: “She’s amazing. She’s taught me so much. She’s the one I can talk to about everything. She will always keep me down to earth. And I love her so much”.

Femke Bol wins 400m, and sets WR, photo by Martin Bateman