Norway’s world champion Karsten Warholm delivered the highlighted performance at the 2021 Bislett Games Oslo Diamond League meeting on Thursday, July 1, after he smashed the men’s 400m hurdles world record with a sizzling run of 46.70 seconds in the final event on the day.
Warholm, the reigning two-time world champion, entered the meeting “highly motivated” to deliver something special in front of his home supporters after breaking his own 300m hurdles world best with 33.26s in his only prior outdoor performance this season, and he didn’t disappoint.
Watched by his mom who sat alone in the stands, the 25-year-old, running from his preferred lane seven starting position, went out very hard in the opening 200m and then closed out strongly after being pressed late in the home straight by Brazilian Alison dos Santos.
“This was the perfect moment,” the 2017 and 2019 world champion said about breaking the world record in front of fans. He added about breaking the mark that was set before he was born: “I knew I had it within me, but of course it’s very special to be able to do it.”
The performance at the Oslo Diamond League meeting by Warholm saw him breaking the long-standing men’s world 400m hurdles record of 46.78, which was set by Kevin Young at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, four years before Warholm was born.
Meanwhile, Dos Santos finished second on the day, while improving his South American record to 47.38s, with third place going to Turkey’s Yasmani Copello in 48.86s.
Warholm came into the 2021 Bislett Games as the third-fastest man all-time with a personal best of 46.87 after American Rai Benjamin clocked 46.83s to win the men’s 400m hurdles title at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials last week.
Thursday’s display marked the second time a 400m hurdles world record was being broken after USA’s Sydney McLaughlin took down the women’s record with a blistering run of 51.90s at the American Trials.
Track and field fans are already bracing for the now highly-anticipated head-to-head clash between Warholm and Benjamin at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 9 July.