Karston Warholm now has the world record in the 400m hurdles. In front of his home crowd, Karston took off well and handled each and every one of the ten hurdles with the focus and strength of the elite athlete that he is. Since he began to focus on the 400m hurdles in 2017, he has surprised us. His London 2017 win surprised many, but his 2019 win and his races in 2020 surprised few.
Stuart Weir wrote this piece on the Norwegian world record holder. He also has had some funny interactions with the Norwegian hurdler!
In his flash quote tonight, Karston said the following:
“I now have the world record and I am so happy! “
Warholm World Record!
It’s been a good week for 400m hurdles. First Sydney McLaughlin breaks the women’s world record and then in Oslo Karsten Warholm breaks the men’s. Last week at the US Olympic Trials Rai Benjamin ran 46.83, the second-fastest of all time. Warholm responded with 46.70 to better Kevin Young’s 46.78 world record run at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
Speaking at the pre-event press conference, Warholm had: “Your competitors are what really push you towards bigger things. 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.” Warholm and Benjamin will be going head-to-head at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 9 July. And then there a race coming up in Toyko.
He said of tonight’s race: “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!”
When Warholm won the World Championship in 2017 we thought it was a fluke. When he won the European title the following year, we said it was good but it was ONLY the European Championship. When he won the European Indoors 400 flat and retained his World title over the hurdles, we had to admit that he was a special talent. Oslo was his 12th Diamond League victory over the hurdles. While it is true that he thrives on competition, it is also a fact that he has run some stunning races from the outside lane, running blind.
I remember speaking to him at the Bislett in 2019. He was doing a string of interviews. I was the last. He was unhurried and gave me as much time as I wanted. A great athlete and a fine man.
I recall a press conference in London where he told us “I’m from the Scottish part of Norway, I like to make money”. He then told a story about how he wanted to buy a racehorse and have his coach train it. The coach was not falling for that one!