Athletics News

2023 European Indoor Champs Preview: Femke Bol, ready to shine in Istanbul

2023 European Indoor Champs Preview: Femke Bol, ready to shine in Istanbul

This is the type of article that Stuart Weir excels at. He loves writing about the athletes he observes. In many cases, he has seen many of the European athletes over most of their entire careers. His keen sense of observation and his wonderful sense of irony come to play in these articles. Please enjoy Stuart’s second preview of the 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships, March 2-5, 2023. RunBlogRun will be there! 

Femke Bol ready to shine in Istanbul

We are only at the end of February but already Femke Bol has twice run an indoor sub 50 second 400m, 49.96 in Metz and 49.26 in the Dutch nationals in Apeldoorn.  Six races, six wins before reaching Istanbul and the European Indoors.  Earlier in the winter I had the opportunity to review 2022 with her.

Femke Bol is a master (OK mistress) of an understatement! When I asked her for her assessment of 2022 – a year in which she was second in the World Championship and won a relay gold, won European Championship gold at 400 hurdles, 400 flat and relay and won the Diamond League title, she replied: “I think it was a pretty good year. I’m pretty happy with it”. 

Femke Bol showed taking Diamond League title, photo by Diamond League AG

She went on to explain that her preparations had not been great for the year: “In October/November 2021 I was struggling with being sick and I got an injury – which I never do.  But I think it was the result of tiredness from the previous season.  What had happened in 2021 was all new to me.  Perhaps I started with too much motivation, too harsh on myself.  Winter training is always hard, a lot of work but this was different from what I was used to”.

Before we consider what she achieved in 2021 and 2022, let’s go back to the beginning. She started to do athletics when at seven or eight because her brother was doing it. “It seemed fun so I asked to do it.  A lot of my friends were there and we just enjoyed going to all the meets and different competitions”. It was about 2015 when it ceased to be “just fun” and became more important: “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 that perhaps I have some talent.  Maybe I can handle the lactic.  When I discovered the hurdles; I found something I was good at.  I liked it and it was natural for me…

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