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Femke Bol breaks 41-year world record in the women’s indoor 400 meters

<i>Olaf Kraak/ANP/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Femke Bol celebrates after winning the women's 400 meters race and beating a 41-year-old world record.
ANP/AFP via Getty Images
Olaf Kraak/ANP/AFP/Getty Images
Femke Bol celebrates after winning the women's 400 meters race and beating a 41-year-old world record.

By Alasdair Howorth, CNN

Femke Bol broke one of the oldest records in track and field as she set a new world-best time of 49.26 seconds in the indoor 400 meters on Sunday.

Bol, running in front of a home crowd at the Dutch Indoor Championships, beat Jarmila Kratochvílová’s world record of 49.59 seconds set in 1982. After making a strong start — hitting 23.63 at the 200 meter mark — Bol closed out the record to deafening noise in Apeldoorn.

“It was because of all the fans here that I ran this record,” said the 22-year-old Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medalist.

“Never have I ever seen that many people here. When I crossed the line, I knew that the record was mine because of the noise that the crowd made.”

Kratochvílová’s old mark was the longest-standing world record in track races and the second-oldest record in track and field — only eclipsed by Helena Fibingerová’s world record in the indoor shot put set in 1977.

“I was hoping to run the record, of course, but in life you hope for a lot of things and most of the time it does not happen,” said Bol via World Athletics.

“I am glad that I did not just get the record, but that I improved it by a big margin.”

It is an addition to an already very impressive CV for the young Dutchwoman.

Having won 400m hurdle bronze in Tokyo and silver at the world championships last year, she set a world-best 300m hurdle mark last year and ran a world indoor best 500m earlier this year — neither of which are on the world championships program.

Bol is the third-fastest woman in history in the 400m hurdle, only behind Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Dalilah Muhammad, both of whom finished ahead of Bol in Tokyo.

The outdoor 400m world record is 47.60 and was set by German Marita Koch in 1985.

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