Femke Bol didn’t let pressure trip her up. Or the memories of a recent finish-line fall.
The overwhelming favorite won in a runaway as the Dutch standout opened a wide lead and never looked back in the final of the women’s 400-meter hurdles Thursday night at World Championships. Bol captured her first world title in a time of 51.70 seconds.
With Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone skipping her title defense and former champion Dalilah Muhammad eliminated in the semifinals, this was Bol’s race to control.
She did precisely that, too. The real race was for second place, where Shamier Little of the United States held off Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton by .01 seconds.
“I feel as if the hard work has paid off,” Little said after the race. “This will really boost my confidence because I know that I am medal-worthy.”
Bol’s win helped soothe the sting of a tumble she took in the mixed 4x400 relay with the finish line steps away and a certain medal to go with it.
Immediately after crossing the line in the 400 hurdles race, Bol put her hands over her face in disbelief as a fan in the stands held up a sign that read, “Femke, Bol them over.”
Bol finished runner-up last summer at worlds to McLaughlin-Levrone, who skipped the 400 hurdles to focus on the open 400 before withdrawing due to a minor knee issue.
At the Tokyo Games, Bol earned Olympic bronze, with McLaughlin-Levrone taking gold and Bol’s idol, Muhammad, capturing silver.
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