With a run like no other in the 400m hurdles, Femke Bohl wrote Dutch athletics history on Thursday evening. Overachiever Amersfoort won the Netherlands’ sixth ever gold medal at the World Championships in Athletics.
Femke Bol was at the top of all betting lists. Moreover, with great progress. Rightly so. She won all her competitions this year and improved her European record to 51.45 seconds. It stayed just above that in Budapest: 51.70. A time when it left its competitors far behind. She won her first world gold. Paul has previously won European gold, World Cup silver and Olympic bronze for the song.
Paul joins an illustrious list of Dutch World Cup gold athletes. Since the world title race broke out in 1983 in Helsinki, TeamNL had won gold five times as of Thursday, by just three different athletes.
The first Dutchman to win a gold medal in athletics was Reince Blom. The Limburger “flew” in Helsinki in 2005 with its column more than 5.80 meters high. Then the Netherlands had to wait ten years for the second gold medal in history. That was in the name of Daphne Schippers from Utrecht, who completed the 200m in Beijing in a new European record of 21.63 seconds, the third fastest time ever at that distance. Scheepers copied this feat two years later in London. The chip was the same color, and the time was a little slower (22.05).
Two years later in Doha, in 2019, Sifan Hassan’s decisive feat followed, with double golds in the 1,500m (3.51.91) and 10,000m (30.17.62).
The trophy cabinet has become more complete
Femke Paul, who is only 23 years old, already has a trophy cabinet where medals are constantly piling up. The gold medal she won in the 400 meters hurdles at the World Championships in Athletics in Budapest was already her 13th medal at an international championship. In fact, there is now one medal missing from the vault, the Olympic gold.
Paul first tasted international success at the age of 19 with a gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the European Junior Championships in 2019. Two years later, he followed that up in the senior category with two gold medals at the European Indoor Championships. In Poland (400 meters and 4 x 400 relay). That same year she capped this achievement with an Olympic bronze medal in the 400 hurdles in Tokyo.
The year 2022 was a real harvest year, as he won two silver medals at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade (400 and 4×400 relay), three gold medals at the European Outdoor Championships in Munich (400, 400 hurdles and 4×400) and two silver medals at the World Championships in Outdoor (400 hurdles and 4×400 medley relay).
She repeated this spring with two gold medals at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul (400 and 4×400), but it was her world record in the indoor 400m (49.26) that caught the imagination even more. Since then, Paul has become a world star in athletics. This is also noticeable in Budapest, where Paul is displayed in life-sized poster form on billboards here and there in the city.
Her winning streak in the Diamond League, a series of competitions where the world’s top players meet, is equally impressive. She is undefeated in seventeen consecutive races in the 400 meter hurdles.
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