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‘Not in my wildest imagination’ – Norway’s Warholm sets astonishing world record

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor August 3, 2021 18:28

‘Not in my wildest imagination’ – Norway’s Warholm sets astonishing world record

A world record had been predicted but Norway’s Karsten Warholm had to utterly destroy it to hold off American Rai Benjamin and take gold on Tuesday (August 3) in the men’s 400 meters hurdles, in what will go down as one of the all-time great Olympic races.

Last month, Warholm broke Kevin Young’s 29-year world mark with a time of 46.70 seconds but he blew his own record away with an astonishing 45.94 run. Benjamin pushed him all the way to take silver in 46.17, also half a second inside the old record.

Brazilian Alison dos Santos, 21, took bronze in 46.72, also inside Young’s previous best, as six of the first seven finishers set national or continental records.

“I never thought in my wildest imagination that this would be possible,” said Warholm.

“Rai Benjamin running 46.17 you know it would deserve a gold medal and it is crazy and also Alison running super times, I think, it is just an honour to be a part of it,” he added.

The new carbon-technology shoes may be contributing to the rash of blazing times being seen in Tokyo but even if they had been running barefoot, the two great rivals would have put on a show to remember.

Double world champion Warholm runs every race as if he is trying to break the world record and on home soil in Oslo last month he finally got Young’s 1992 Barcelona Olympics mark off the books – and seemingly a weight off his shoulders.

With Benjamin posting 46.83 in the U.S. trials, the record was widely expected to be broken in Tokyo, but nobody could have predicted the massive bites both men took.

In perfect conditions, the two 25-year-olds hurdled beautifully and were side-by-side coming into the final straight, only for Warholm to forge clear.

“I would say this was probably the best race ever in Olympic history, I don’t think any other races compares to what we just did about two hours ago. It is undeniable, there is nothing you can compare to what just happened out there,” said Benjamin after the race.

When Warholm saw the astonishing time, he looked to be in shock. He ripped his vest apart and beat his chest in celebration before sinking to his knees.

Benjamin would have been equally amazed with his time, all the more so for it being only good enough for second place.

World champion Malaika Mihambo of Germany snatched the Olympic gold in women’s long jump with her final leap of 7.00 meters in an enthralling final.

After an exciting competition during which the lead changed hands frequently between Brittney Reese and Ese Brume, Mihambo, who was placed third going into the final round, settled the deal with her last leap.

Just three centimetres divided the medallists.

Reese and Nigerian Brume finished tied on 6.97 but the American took the silver owing to her second-best jump of 6.95 which was five centimetres longer than Brume’s effort.

At a news conference after, Reese said her fourth Olympics would also be her last as she wanted to focus on her 13-year old son.

“It was a great journey and you know, I don’t think it has really hit me yet, I think I’ll probably cry in the car but other than that, I think I am ok with what’s going on,” said the 34-year old, Reese.

It was a record-equalling third Olympic gold medal in the women’s long jump for Germany with the United States also having won three.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor August 3, 2021 18:28