After winning gold in the 4×400 meters at the European Indoor Championships in Torun, the Dutch women already dare to dream aloud of success at the Olympic Games next summer. Lieke Klaver, Marit Dopheide, Femke Bol and Lisanne de Witte provided the final piece on Sunday in a very successful tournament for the Dutch track team, which sets the bar high for Tokyo.
“We have already run faster indoors than in the Outdoor World Championships in Doha in 2019. You can really go much faster outdoors, something very beautiful can happen in Tokyo,” said Lisanne de Witte, the most experienced force in the Dutch formation.
In recent years, De Witte, 28, was also the fastest runner in the 400 meters, but now Lieke Klaver (22) and especially Femke Bol (21) show up. The relay team – including Marit Dopheide – is thus strengthening. Seventh place at the World Cup was already a milestone, but more seems possible in Tokyo.
“It’s the first time that so many girls have run so fast,” said De Witte, who won bronze in the 400 meters two years ago. “I thought I was already at a peak, but others are now pushing the limits. It also pushes me further. There are a lot of possibilities with this team this summer.”
Photos of the Golden Race of Dutch Women
‘It’s certainly so special’
Incidentally, the strongest 4×400-meter teams did not participate in the European Championship. The United States are the reigning world champions and Jamaica also have a quick squad. The Dutch beat in Torun with a championship record (3.27.15) the British silver team (3.28.20) and Poland, who took bronze in 3.29.24. The last rider Bol did a good preliminary job in the last two laps.
“I stayed behind the British runner for a while, but when I passed her and was in front I knew it was fair,” said Bol, who had previously won individual gold in the 400. meters Saturday. “Winning an individual title is great, but this gold medal with the team is just as special.”
Klaver was fifth in the 400 meters on Saturday and made a stronger impression in the relay. “If I had run this race in this final I might have won two medals,” said Klaver. “I feel blessed with this team. Great Britain almost always wins medals in the relay and now we are winning.”
Shortly before the women’s gold medal, the Dutch also became European champions in the 4×400 meters. In total, the team has won gold four times, once silver and twice bronze at the European Championships and with that the Netherlands finished atop the medal level for the first time in the l ‘history.
European Indoor Championship medal mirror
- 1. Netherlands – 4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze (7)
- Portugal – 3 gold medals (3)
- 3. Great Britain – 2 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze (12)
- 4. Belgium – 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze (5)
- 5. France – 2 gold, 2 silver (4)
- 6. Ukraine – 2 gold, 1 silver (3)
- 7. Norway – 2 gold medals (2)
- 7. Switzerland – 2 gold medals (2)
- 9. Poles – 1 gold, 5 silver, 4 bronze (10)
- 10. Spain – 1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze (5)