Karsten Warholm finally gets the WR! (at Oslo, of course!)

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kw 46.70.jpgKarsten Warholm is the first European to hold the 400m hurdles WR since David Hemery in 1968! photo by Diamond League AG

The 400m hurdles race is an event for tough athletes. It was also an event developed, in my humble opinion, by a sadist. First, take the 400 meters. One can, when in high fitness, run about 250-300 meters all out before collapsing. So the 400 meters is broken up into sections by the Great Ones.

The 400m hurdles have ten hurdles added to the misery of the one-lap race. That means one must control both speed and endurance as one gets around the track, and maintains good form over the last two hurdles. Watching Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin, one realizes that they are in the presence of geniuses at their events.

Karsten Warhlom moved from the multi-events to the 400m to the 400m hurdles. He maintains a tough workout schedule and obviously is intrigued by his event.

Can he go faster?

Let's just say this. With Rai Benjamin canceling his European tour prior to Tokyo, the final in the Olympics could take a WR to take gold! It should be a highlight of the 2021 Olympics.

Warholm finally gets the WR


OSLO (NOR, Jul 1): The jubilee 70th World record at Bislett Games was the highlight of the 56th edition of the meet. From lane 7 Karsten Warholm smashed Kevin Youngs 46.78 by 0.08 after nearly 29 years in his first race at the distance of the year. He improved the oldest track men world record (there are older in field events) and is the first European with WR in this event since David Hemery in 1968. Speaking at the pre-event press conference, the two-time world champion had highlighted the impact of top-class rivalries. "Your competitors are what really push you towards bigger things," he said. "If it was only me running quick times, I wouldn't need to push it any further, but with people there running fast times, I need to take a step up as well." On a warm and cloudy evening, which welcomed fans for the biggest gathering of people in Norway since the start of the pandemic, Warholm was greeted with a wall of cheers and chants of 'Karsten, Karsten'. After the record race, he said: "I knew that I had a fast time in my body - it feels like it has been there for a long time but you never know when it is right to do it. And it is one thing to know you have it in you and another to go out and do it. It is very special to do it here in Bislett in front of a great crowd including my friends and family. This is my first 400m hurdles of the season so I really think there is more in the tank. It might take another world record to win the Olympics. There are such a lot of great guys out there at the moment who will all be aiming to do it and win Gold. I am happy that there is such great competition. But I now have the World Record and I am so happy!" With Sydney McLaughlin having clocked 51.90 at the US Olympic Trials on Sunday, it means both the women's and men's world records have been broken within the same week. Fans will not have long to wait until the next installment in what is proving to be a top rivalry, as Warholm and Benjamin will be going head-to-head at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 9 July. With the help from World Athletics.

Event by event short review (in total 1 WR, 3 MR, 3 WL, 5 EL)

Men

200m - Andre de Grasse dominated in 20.09 ahead of Canadian teammate Aaron Brown in 20.38.

Mile - Australia's Stewart McSweyn won in an Oceanian record of 3:48.37, the fastest time outdoors since 2014. Marcin Lewandowski closed in a national record of 3:49.11 EL in second with fellow Australian Jye Edwards third in a big lifetime best of 3:49.27. Uganda's Ronald Musagala also set a national record of 3:53.04 in sixth.

3000m - With a closing three laps of 58.44, 58.40 and 56.35, Yomif Kejelcha won the 3000m in a world lead and Diamond League record of 7:26.25. His time also broke Haile Gebrselassie's meeting record of 7:27.42. Kenyans Jacob Krop (7:30.07) and Nicholas Kimeli (7:31.33) were second and third respectively. Filip Ingebrigtsen clocked European lead 7:34.00 as fifth.

400m hurdles - In his first race of the season at the distance, world and European champion Karsten Warholm broke Kevin Young's long-standing world record of 46.78 with 46.70 from lane seven. He becomes the first European to hold the men's 400m hurdles record since David Hemery ran 48.12 at the 1968 Olympics. Brazil's Alison dos Santos improved to 47.38 in second to break his South American record.

Triple jump - Algeria's Yasser Mohamed Triki produced the longest jump of the competition with 17.24m and was the only jumper to record a mark in the Final Three with 17.23m.

Pole vault - Armand Duplantis cleared 6.01m on his first attempt to break the meeting record before three attempts at 6.19m. Sam Kendricks cleared a season's best of 5.91m in second.

Discus - Daniel Stahl and Kristjan Ceh both threw 65.72m in the Final Three but the Swede won by virtue of a superior second best throw, 68.65m to 66.68m.

Women

100m - Marie-Josee Ta Lou broke the 11 second-barrier for the first time this year with 10.91 for victory ahead of Brit Daryll Neita (11.06) and European indoor champion Ajla Del Ponte (11.16).

800m - Less than a week after finishing seventh at the US Olympic Trials, Kate Grace stormed to victory in a 1:57.60 PB by more than one second from Uganda's world champion Halimah Nakaayi (1:58.70) and Swiss Lore Hoffmann (1:59.06).

5000m - Kenya's Hellen Obiri kicked to victory in 14:26.38 ahead of Ethiopia's Fantu Worku (14:26.80) and fellow Kenyan Margaret Kipkemoi (14:28.24). Eilish McColgan shattered her lifetime best of 14:46.17, finishing fourth in 14:28.55 to break Paula Radcliffe's legendary British record of 14:29.11, also European lead.

400m hurdles - Femke Bol improves her European U23 record and national record to 53.33 EL to extend her win streak to nine races. Ukrainians Anna Ryzhykova (54.15 PB) and Viktoriya Tkachuk (54.62) were second and third respectively.

Long jump - Despite taking off 17cm behind the board, Malaika Mihambo won the Final Three with 6.83m although she produced a longer jump of 6.86m in the second round.

Javelin - Poland's Maria Andrejczyk produced the longest throw of the competition with 62.67m but Germany's Christin Hussong won the Final Three with 60.95m to Andrejczyk's 60.35m.

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