NOS teacher in Eugene, Oregon
NOS teacher in Eugene, Oregon
Run the 400m hurdles with the precision of a Swiss watch. Leave that craftsmanship to Laurent Mewley. Last year, the Freiburg-born coach, hired by the athletics union, worked endlessly in the perfect rhythm of his career at the Femke Ball in Eugene to host the World Cup final on the night of Friday to Saturday (Dutch time).
Nine times 35 meters, 45 meters and finally forty flat meters to the redeeming line between ten obstacles of 76 centimeters height. The steps follow one another like a metronome. 400 meters long, no obstacles.
“I’m sure the hard work will pay off in this one race.”
The 22-year-old Boll is in prime form in his early career. There is little guarantee of a place on the highest step of the podium, something Mevli (47) knows better than anyone after 29 years of service. “I’m sure the hard work will pay off in this one race.”
Less, the World Championships in Eugene and next month’s European Championships in Munich are the goal for the year. In 2021, when everything revolved around the Tokyo Olympics, Boll played six international tournaments to prepare. This year, the 22-year-old from Amersford has made just four international starts. All the races she finished were wins.
Mewley says Ball needed to gain competitive experience last season. “She has to learn to deal with the pressure, and it feels like she’s starting to like it. She knows it now. Technique, speed, she’s improved in all areas since then. She’s in a better position than she was a year ago in Tokyo. .”
Check out Femke’s reaction after his semi-final here:
Pulp after 400m hurdles: ‘Not a full house, but it’s a good time’
Meuwly only needs to look at the results of the last two Diamond League matches in Stockholm to confirm that statement. In 2021, Bohl clocked 52.37 in Sweden, and this year he clocked 52.27. “A World of Differences.”
An added benefit: “Because he’s run fewer races this year, he’s even hungrier than before for the Olympics.”
Focusing only on the 400 hurdles in 2019, Mewley has crushed the woman to her heart’s content over the past three years. He started with a speed of 22 on the first flat from the start. These determine the pace she takes with her in other races. “The last couple of years we’ve worked hard on the first 200 meters of the race. She’ll leave it there.”
By default, Boll makes fifteen passes between all obstacles. Meuli taught her to go over the fence with her left foot. “Then you’re getting closer to the line after the hurdle, and as a result you get fewer meters than you would in a whole race.”
The Swiss left some things intact. Sometimes good is enough. “Femke’s problem is that even though she’s 1.83 meters tall, she naturally walks with a high gait frequency. It’s weird for her to take long strides at a slow pace. You can work on that. But she’s out now. Her best are so why tinker?”
Mewley hopes to run under his personal best of 52.03 in the final. In his view, a 51-year-old is certainly possible.
Anyway, Swiss says it won’t be a poster. American world record holder and Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin and compatriot Dalila Muhammad compete against Paul. This is the first reunion between numbers one, two and three for Tokyo 2020. 3rd fastest 400m hurdles in history on August 3, 2021.
Of the three, McLaughlin has by far the best documentation in Eugene. She was the first woman to break the magical 52-second barrier, a feat she has now done four times. He last set a world record of 51.41 on June 25 this year in Eugene.
Muhammad is the only other woman to break the barrier, with a personal best of 51.58 to her name. “On paper, I don’t see much opportunity for Femke,” says Mevli. Significantly add: “In practice, however, it’s a different story.”
He really only sees one chance. “Femke needs to push MacLaughin out of her comfort zone. As the reigning world champion you can still be in great shape and if you have even a moment of doubt during the race, suddenly everything is different. This is Femke’s chance. To beat her.”
Meuwly predicts a final battle where two, maybe three 51’s will run. That may not be due to Bolin’s motivation, he says. “It’s weird when you look at the start list and you’re 54 seconds behind your biggest opponent’s name.”
Mewley didn’t dare say whether Amersfoortsey would excel in the race against world stars like McLaughlin and Muhammad. “I know it will benefit athletics in general.”
The Swiss condemn the fact that American athletes do not take action outside their own national borders. They want more lucrative tournaments created with the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics in mind. The declining interest in athletics in America should be stopped in time in this way.
As an athlete, Mewley, of Eugene, looks forward to that unique meet in the 400 hurdles. Paul in lane 4, McLaughlin in 5 and Muhammad in 6. “It’s like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal going head-to-head.”
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