TOKYO (AP) – The young Norwegian has already joined a spur of the moment 200m race wearing nothing but jeans and a loose t-shirt.
He won. It shouldn’t have been a surprise.
The child’s name? Karsten Warholm. This course ? This put him on a road that led him first to get into the decathlon, then to get seriously into the 400-meter hurdles.
Good choice. Warholm, 25, lowered his world record with an eye-catching 45.94 seconds to win the Olympic gold medal on Tuesday.
The at times brash, always quick with a quip, Warholm even surprised himself after seeing his time appear at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. He also needed every ounce of energy he expended to push Rai Benjamin away. The American finished in what would have been a world record of 46.17 for the silver medal. Alison dos Santos of Brazil was third in 46.72.
“I’ve always said there is no such thing as a perfect race,” said Warholm. “But that’s the closest I think I’ve come to a perfect race.”
A few things to know about the new Olympic champion:
On July 1, Warholm ran a race of 46.70 in Oslo, Norway to eclipse Kevin Young’s mark of 46.78, which set a world record for nearly 29 years.
This added another layer of intrigue to the Olympic 400m hurdles. The race was eagerly awaited at the Tokyo Games and did not disappoint.
“It was the best race in Olympic history,” said Benjamin. “The child is amazing. You can’t be mad at that at all. As a competitor it hurts a lot, but that’s just the nature of the sport.
On Wednesday there is another 400 hurdles race not to be missed – the women’s version. Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad could put on an equally entertaining spectacle. McLaughlin is the current record holder.
CAPTURE EVERYONE’S ATTENTION
Warholm was not a household name when he traveled to London in 2017 for the world championships. But after winning that race for the first of his two world titles, it turned into something of a meme.
His incredulous look as he crossed the finish line went viral on parts of social media. He made comparisons with the painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. Munch is also Norwegian.
He had a similar look after his performance in Tokyo, which some have dubbed “The Scream, Part II”.
WARHOLM THE DECATHLETE?
He first focused on the octathlon (eight events) then on the decathlon. In 2015, he moved to Oslo to train with coach Leif Olav Alnes. They were close partners in putting him on the path to medals and world records.
His coach always believed that breaking the 46-second plateau was also possible.
“When you see the times, it’s crazy,” Warholm said. “The conditions were good today. Yet crazy run 45. “
WHAT THEY SAY
British Virgin Islands hurdler Kyron McMaster said of the world record: “Being around Warholm for three or four years was to come. I was like, ‘Yo, man, the way you progressed was on the horizon.’ It wasn’t far from him. Maybe far from me. It might be a long way off for someone else. But it was well within sight of him.
GOOD NATURE PERSON
After saying that Benjamin made a slight mistake in the race or that he could have run faster, Warholm joked: “If that mistake cost him the gold medal, he shouldn’t have done it at the Games. Olympic.
He also felt bad for Benjamin.
“He’s going to get the silver at a time that deserves the gold,” Warholm said. “It’s just a new era. It is the rebirth of the 400-meter hurdles.
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