Double Dutch disappointment at world athletics championships

Femke Bol falls just ahead of the finish. Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijzen ANP

There was double disappointment for the Dutch at the world athletics championships in Budapest on Saturday when both Femke Bol and Sifan Hassan fell on their approach to the finishing line.

Bol was running the final leg of the mixed 4×400 metres relay and the gold or silver medal seemed to be in the bag when she fell, dropping the baton in the process.

“I don’t know what happened,” she said after the race. “My legs did not want to do it anymore. I’ve had it before but usually I can recover. This time, not.”

Although Bol managed to cross the finishing line in third place, there was no bronze medal for the Netherlands because she did not have the baton with her.

The gold medal went to the US in a new world record. Britain took the silver and the Czech Republic bronze.

Favourite Hassan was 250 metres from the finish when she took over the lead in the 10,000 metres but fell with just 30 metres to go. Gudaf Tsegay from Ethiopia went on to take the gold with her team mates picking up silver and bronze.

“That is sport. I can’t do anything about it,” Hassan said afterwards. “But these are the world championships, not the Olympics. And I must be thankful for what I have. I have just won a marathon.” Hassan won gold in the 10,000 metres at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Hassan is also competing in the 1,500 metres and the 5,000 metres later in the week. Bol is favourite for the 400 metres hurdles title.

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