Femke Bol’s Budapest Rollercoaster

By Kyle Merber

August 30, 2023

It feels like a decade ago when Femke Bol took that unfortunate dive just five meters short of winning the Mixed Gender 4x400 relay. During that first track final it was the United States’ Alexis Holmes who played the role of hero, throwing down a dominant anchor leg and benefitting from the unfortunate mishap.

Fast forward to the women’s 4x400 for the last track final and you might be skeptical of whether or not Vince McMahon really is behind the curtain pulling strings.

This isn’t just me being a patriot saying that the United States should have won the 4x400. It’s a matter of personal bests and math. But they don’t hand medals out for should’ve, could’ve, would’ve… During the prelims, in a twist of fate, it was Alexis Holmes who was involved in an out-of-zone pass, resulting in a US disqualification. That ultimately opened up relay gold to another country, presumably one that consumes significantly fewer deep-fried Oreos. (If they ever make that a WA event, look out world – I’m coming out of retirement!)

As the fourth leg kicked off, getting the baton in third, the 400m hurdle champion Bol had the opportunity to hawk down the Jamaicans just before the line – the same place where she had previously faltered. As it was happening in slow motion, it was a twist so good that it must have been directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

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Kyle Merber

After hanging up his spikes – but never his running shoes – Kyle pivoted to the media side of things, where he shares his enthusiasm, insights, and experiences with subscribers of The Lap Count newsletter, as well as viewers of CITIUS MAG live shows.