Nick Smidt broke a 44-year-old Dutch record in the 400-meter hurdles on Sunday. The Dutch athlete ran a time of 48.36 seconds in the Swiss La Chaux-de-Fonds and thus grabbed an Olympic ticket.
The 26-year-old Smidt ran eight hundredths of a second faster than Harry Schulting in the Diamond League race. The latter came to a time of 48.44 seconds on September 12, 1979 in Mexico City.
Smidt was much stronger than his competition in Switzerland. The Swiss Bonvin Julien (50.07) and the Spaniard Delgado Jesus David (50.19) completed the podium.
Smidt already ran a personal best of 48.70 seconds in May. With this, the athlete from Assen secured World Cup participation in Budapest in August.
Because of his new age, Smidt is sure of a ticket for the Olympic Games in Paris. That tournament starts next year on July 26 and ends more than two weeks later on August 11.