Reigning World Champion Karsten Warholm Breaks 29 Year Old 400m Hurdles World Record Ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 07/02/2021, 7:44 AM EDT


Even before the Tokyo Olympics 2021, athletics has already some world records broken in a dramatic fashion. A week back Sydney McLaughlin had broken the women’s 400m hurdles world record. And now, reigning world champion and Norwegian sprinter, Karsten Warholm has broken the men’s 400m hurdles record ahead of the Olympics.

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At the Diamond League Meet, Warholm clocked in 46.70 seconds and broke the long-standing record of Kevin Young. A record that seemed to be far from anyone’s grasp has now been broken after 29 years. Warholm had been chasing Young’s record of 46.78 for years and came close multiple times.

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“This was just the perfect moment. Everybody’s talking about this world record that’s been standing for many, many years — it’s older than me, actually,” Warholm said.

Karsten Warholm’s journey towards breaking the world record

Kevin Young had achieved his record when he claimed the gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Warholm is the only person to now have three performances under the 47-second mark. Warholm first clocked a time under 47 seconds at an invitational race in Zurich. His time was 46.92 and at that time a new European record. Although Warholm slowed down at the 2019 World Championships, he still had enough to claim the gold medal.

Then in June 2020, Warholm ran at the Impossible Games in Norway. There he clocked his personal best, 46.87 just 0.11 seconds short of Young’s time. Having come so close at that time it looked like he wouldn’t have the steam to come closer but he did it successfully by beating the record by 0.08 seconds.

“I knew I had it in me, but of course it’s very special to be able to do it. I’m just really happy and really proud. Its a nice moment.”

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Both men’s and women’s 400m hurdle records broken before Tokyo Olympics 2021

Jun 25, 2021; Eugene, OR, USA;Sydney McLaughlin wins women’s 400m hurdles heat in 54.07 for the top time during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Warholm’s record comes just a week after Sydney McLaughlin broke the 400m hurdles world record in the now-concluded US Olympics track & field trials. She beat her compatriot, Dalilah Muhammad’s record by clocking, 51.90 and going below the 52-second mark. Warholm seems to be a huge gold medalist favorite whereas, Sydney is having a competitive rivalry with compatriot Dalilah.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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