Femke Paul breaks European 400m hurdles record in London: ‘This stadium is really weird’ | Other sports

With videoFemke Paul broke her European record in the 400m hurdles at the Diamond League meeting in London. The Amersfoort native won the race at the London Stadium in a time of 51.45 seconds. This means that it has fallen far below the level of 52.03 that it set.

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Last updated:
07-23-23, 17:41

“This stadium is really strange, I’ve dreamed of walking here all my life. These British people have a lot of sympathy for you,” the 23-year-old athlete from Amersfoort said shortly after her race at the NOS. It hosted the London Stadium, which is now the home ground of West Ham United. , 2012 Olympics. “I had been hoping to run under those 52 seconds for a long time and I also felt like it was possible. Now I’ve done it in an atmosphere that makes it even more special.

The 51.45 is the third fastest time ever run by a woman in the 400-meter hurdles. Only Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin was twice as fast. The American also holds the world record with a time of 50.68 seconds.

Ball’s race was, as has been the case all season, unparalleled by her competitors. I crossed the finish line more than two seconds ahead of second place. “A race can never feel perfect, and so far I thought some of the obstacle passes didn’t go well, but I still felt super strong in the last part.”

Femke Paul wins the 400m hurdles at the London Diamond League with force majeure. © Agence France-Presse

Gold at the World Championships in Budapest next month is the big goal this summer. Paul already has Olympic bronze, world silver and European gold, but the world title is still missing. “I want to put in a great show at the World Cup, and hopefully I’ll be in even better shape. There’s always room for improvement, but for now I’ll enjoy it.”

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At next month’s World Cup finals in Budapest, the 23-year-old Ball does not have to fear her great rival. McLaughlin decided to abandon the 400m hurdles to focus entirely on the “regular” 400m.

Technical modification

In her new record time, in which she broke the barrier of 52 seconds, Paul finally saw the results of her technical adjustments to the barrier number. She has mastered running fourteen steps between hurdles, hoping to increase her speed with longer strides.

In London it really came to light for the first time. The difference with the competition was particularly significant in London. Jamaican Janeeve Russell took second place with a time of 53.75 seconds, more than two seconds behind Paul.

For Paul, it was her 17th straight win in the 400m hurdles at the Diamond League. Therefore, she is considered the favorite at the World Cup in Budapest.

Hassan Al-Urbi also scored

Sifan Hassan was unable to win on her return to London, but improved her European record in the 5,000m. The two-time Olympic champion, who won the marathon in the English capital last April, finished third at the Diamond League meet in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14.13.42 seconds. With that time she improved her 14.22.12 figure for the distance.

Hassan took the lead in the second part of the race at the London Stadium and set the pace. She also started the final lap as the top runner, but missed her famous final shot in the final meters to the finish. She was overtaken by Ethiopian Godaf Tsegaye, the world champion, and won on 14.12.29. Kenyan Beatrice Chebet also overtook Hassan and took second place with a time of 14.12.92.

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Over time, Hassan also secured participation in the Olympic Games in Paris a year later.

Sifan Hassan
Sifan Hassan © Reuters

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Amber Webster

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