Tokyo Olympics : Warholm first to go under 46 secs in men’s 400m hurdles; wins gold
Tokyo : Norway’s Karsten Warholm on Tuesday became the first man in the world to break the 46-second barrier in 400m hurdles, as he clocked 45.94 seconds in the final to win the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games.Coming into the race as the favourite after breaking the 29-year-old world record of Kevin Young (46.78sec) a month ago, Warholm crossed the finish line first in 45.94 seconds, slicing off a sensational .76 seconds off his own world record. He had clocked 46.70 in the Diamond League meeting in Oslo, Norway on July 2.Rai Benjamin of the United States won the silver in 46.17 and Alison dos Santos of Brazil took bronze in 46.72.Warholm started off very, very quickly and got into the lead early, blazing away and gliding over the hurdles effortlessly.American rival Rai Benjamin came up strongly over the stretch and caught up with the Norwegian. But just when it looked like he will fade away, Warholm tapped into some hidden source of energy in his body and raced away to smash the world record.
Benjamin completed his run in 46.17 and would have taken half a second off the previous world record.Warholm was understandably delighted with his gold medal, as well as breaking the 46-second barrier for the first time in history.”I mean, man it’s so crazy. It’s by far the biggest moment of my life,” he was quoted as saying by the Olympic channel.”It defines everything, all the hours I put in, everything that my coach has been working for. I dream about it like a maniac, I tell you. I sleep all night on it. I spend all my time thinking about this, so just getting this last medal into my collection, it’s complete.”I can’t sleep. I’ve spent thousands of hours thinking about this.”I had this special feeling in my chest, you know when you are nervous. I was just thinking this is the feeling that I had when I was six years old. I’ve never had that feeling since I got older, but yesterday I had it,” he said.Benjamin brought to tears after just missing out on the top spot on the podium, couldn’t hide his disappointment at the final result: “Knowing that you want to be the best, this is what it costs. It’s hard. It hurts. But it is what it is.”I always give myself 24 hours to process things. Right now I am just full of emotion. I have worked so hard. This is what matters. I got a medal but it just hurts to lose.”
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