Femke Bol produced an astonishing final leg to snatch gold for the Netherlands in a thrilling women’s 4x400 metres relay on Sunday, the final event of the World Championships.
Anchor Bol took the baton in third place, almost 20 metres adrift of leaders Jamaica and behind Britain and was still well adrift of both going into the final straight.
Bol, who fell just short of the finishing line in the 4x400m mixed relay on opening night then won individual gold in the 400m hurdles, overhauled Britain’s Nicole Yeargin and then edged Jamaica’s Stacey Ann Williams on the line.
The Dutch clocked 3:20.72s, Jamaica’s second successive silver came in 3:20.88, with Britain taking bronze in 3.21.04
“The first three legs went so well, I felt like I had to finish as strongly as I could,” said Bol.
“I wanted to stay patient, but in the last metres I said ‘no, we have to take it’.
“It was one of my most important runs ever but it is the first time we are world champions so it applies for all of us. Every tenth and hundredth of a second was needed. We had good exchanges and still barely won it.”
Third leg Cathelijn Peeters spoke for most of the captivated crowd when she said: “To be honest I was already happy with a bronze, then I realised we might win a silver and was shocked at the end with the gold.”
The United States women, who had won seven of the last eight World Championships and the last seven Olympic golds, was absent after being disqualified after a botched baton changeover in the semifinals.
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