Femke Bol

The Dutch star Femke Bol says she is looking forward to a “nice battle” with her American arch-rival Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone at the Paris Olympics.

Bol, 24, picked up two golds and a bronze at the recent European Championships in Rome. She won the 400-metre hurdles and anchored the 4×400-metre relay team to victory. She also finished third in the mixed relay.

After her sterling performance in Rome, Bol will want to turn the tables on her American rival In Paris.

McLaughlin-Levrone, also 24, claimed the gold in the 400-metre hurdles in a then-record time of 51.46 seconds at the Covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Femke Bol managed only a bronze in the event in Tokyo.

Subsequently, McLaughlin-Levrone  broke her own record twice—first by 0.05 seconds in June 2022 at the US trials in Eugene, Oregon, and then to 50.68 seconds when she won gold at the world championships on the same track later that year

But the American missed last year’s world championships because of injuries, and Bol won the event.

Now Bol is looking forward to a rematch with the American in Paris.

“I hope it’s going to be a nice battle!” Bol said.

“I will try to be at my best form I can be and then we will see where it will bring us.”

She believes the Olympics in Paris packed with spectators will be different from Tokyo, where the stands were empty because of Covid regulations

“I went to Tokyo, but it was in Covid, it was completely different,” she said.

“I have a lot of family and friends who will be coming to Paris so I’m really looking forward to being there.

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“But there’s still some training to do, some competition to do before I’ll be there.”

While Bol won medals in Rome, McLaughlin-Levrone was in fine form in New York. She set a world-leading time of 48.75 seconds over the 400 metres, falling just 0.05 seconds short of breaking Sanya Richards-Ross’ American women’s record.

Bol won the 400-metre race as well as the 400-metre hurdles at the European championships in Munich in 2022.

But Bol will not be running the 400-metre flat race in Paris,“Only the hurdles and the relay,” she said.

Sources: Sportstar, Olympics.com

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