Karsten Warholm has finally taken down one of the oldest world records in athletics by beating Kevin Young’s 29-year-old 400m hurdles best in front of his home crowd in Oslo.
After powering home in 46.70sec to break the previous record by 0.07, the 25-year-old Norwegian described it as the “perfect moment” – but admitted he may have to go even quicker to win gold at the Olympics in Tokyo. Incredibly it was the 12th track and field world record set this year in the new era of super spikes. What made Warholm’s achievement particularly impressive was that he broke it running in his first race of the outdoor season.
“I knew that I have had fast times in my body for a long time but it’s one thing to know that you’re in good shape and it’s another thing to be able to go out and perform,” he said. “This was just the perfect moment. Everybody’s talking about this world record, it has been standing for many, many years. It’s older than me, actually. It is very special to do it here at the Bislett Games in front of a great crowd including my friends and family.”
Warholm, who finished ahead of Alison dos Santos (47.38sec) and Yasmani Copello (48.86), will now look ahead to challenging his great rival Rai Benjamin in Tokyo.
“I really think there is more in the tank. And it might take another world record to win the Olympics.”
In the women’s 5,000m earlier in the evening, Eilish McColgan produced a superb run to break Paula Radcliffe’s 17-year-old British record. Her time of 14min 28.55sec beat the previous mark by nearly two seconds as the 30-year-old Scot came fourth behind the world champion, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri.