Czech athlete Jarmila Kratochvílová, holder of the longest valid world record in the 800 meters, was ceremoniously inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Pelhřim Agency Dobrý den on May 11, 2020.
Apeldoorn (Netherlands)/Prague – Within a few months, the Dutch runner Femke Bolová replaced three Czech athletes in the first place in the historical tables of three different disciplines. The twenty-two-year-old rising star performed the most valuable performance so far on Sunday in Apeldoorn, where she set an indoor world record in the 400 meters and beat Jarmila Kratochvílova's 41-year-old time. In an interview with iSport.cz, she described her as exceptional.
But already two weeks ago in Boston, she surpassed the maximum of another star of the 80s, Taťány Netoličková (formerly Kocembová), on the non-traditional 500-meter track, and last May, in another additional discipline, she set the best time in history for Zuzana Hejnová in the 300-meter hurdles.
“I've been following her for quite some time. She's an exceptional girl who has the prerequisites,” Kratochvílová told the iSport.cz server. She ran the indoor quarter marathon record of 49.59 seconds on March 7, 1982 in Milan, her conqueror was born almost exactly eighteen years later. Bolová improved her time to 49.26 four days before her 23rd birthday on Thursday. “I always say that from time to time an exceptional person is born who can perform exceptionally well. Now she has joined it,” stated Kratochvílová.
She was not so sorry that she lost the record, although she admitted that she was pleased with how long Milan's performance at the top of the historical charts lasted. “The indoor record is not that important to me, no one has reminded me of it much in my life. The world record on the track somehow beat it, surpassed it, drowned it out,” the runner, who held the all-time record for fourth place outdoors for two years, told iSport In 1983, she became the first woman to break the 100th mark in 48 seconds. While this record was relatively soon taken back by German rival Marita Koch (47.60), her time of 1:53.28 on the double track is still a valid world record and will celebrate its 40-year anniversary on July 26.
And overcoming it would already mean more to Kratochvílova. “To be honest, the summer record would be sadder for me,” admitted the two-time world champion from the 1983 championship in Helsinki. Her Munich performance in the eight is so far out of the reach of current female runners and, as of Sunday, is the oldest running world record in athletics. Recently, the closest to him was the then 19-year-old American Athing Mu, the year before last, with a difference of 1.76 seconds. “I think that time is coming, yes. If I was racing, I would also like to overcome it. I don't have a problem with it. Maybe for a moment, a moment, a little moment, I would regret it. Then I'll say to myself, damn, forty years …” said Kratochvílová.
However, she does not expect that it should be Bolová who could beat her in the round of 8 in the near future. He expects the Dutch star, who won gold medals in the 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m at last year's European Championships in Munich, to focus on her main event, the hurdles, and her duels with American Sydney McLaughlin. She set a fantastic world record of 50.68 seconds at the World Championships last year, where she triumphed just ahead of Bolová.
And right after Sunday's record, Bolová announced that the hurdles quarter is her priority. Since winning bronze at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, she is the European record holder with a time of 52.03, and in the historical tables she is third behind the second American defeater from the Olympic final, Dalilah Muhammad. And since she aims to win the title of champion in Budapest, she will “put aside” the smooth 400m after the indoor season and is not going to combine both tracks, at least at the championship. “I have never won gold from the World Championships. If I run even 400 meters, it will reduce my chances in the hurdles. I have to do everything to get as close as possible to Sydney,” said Bolová.