Cynthia Bolingo was at her best just before the Olympics. Our compatriot set a new Belgian record in Nancy, two days after she had already improved to her best time in the 400 metres. The BR now stands at 50.29, with the Belgian cheetah being half a second (50.72) faster than Saturday and scoring the best European performance of the year.
The Bolingo record has been 50.72 since Athletics Night in Heusden last Saturday. Her ability to recover is clearly good, because she hardly comes after two days with a new peak. It’s been a while since former Olympic champion Christine Orogo ran in the European race in 2015 so quickly.
In the 2021 world rankings, Bolingo is now 16th, but only 8th in the purified list of athletes who have been able to pick Tokyo.
If you dive well for less than 51 seconds in Japan, you’ll flirt with a place in the final.
“I’m not going to put any pressure on myself,” Bolingo replied at Heusden. “Maintaining that feeling and trying to do it as best I can is all I’m going to try. This race gives me confidence of course, but in the month left, there are still a lot of mistakes. I’m fine, but we’re not there yet.”
Bolingo concluded her Olympics preparations in Nancy, with a race that came just two days after her previous race. “We consciously programmed it this way. Test it once, because the matches in Tokyo will quickly follow each other,” it seemed then.