Karsten Warholm, Rai Benjamin, and Alison dos Santos all advanced to the semifinals of the 400m hurdles after cruising through their respective heat on Day One of track and field at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday (30).
Warholm, the world record-holder and two-time world champion began his quest for what would be a first Olympic title by easily winning his heat with a time of 48.65 seconds to automatically qualify to semis.
“It was nice to get out on the track again,” Warholm said. “It’s something you’ve been looking forward to for a long time.
“I’ve been here for two weeks already, I’m starting to get bored so it was very nice to get around.”
The Norwegian, running from lane eight, just outside of his favored starting lane seven position, looked super relaxed when taking the heat Irishman Thomas Barr who ran 49.02 to also qualify.
World silver medallist and the USA champion Benjamin also cruised through his heat in 48.60 and he took Rasmus Mägi of Estonia (48.73) home with him as well.
Abderrahman Samba of Qatar, the world bronze medalist, was the fastest from the heats with a time of 48.38s after coming home ahead of Brazilian Dos Santos who ran 48.42.
Jamaican champion Jaheel Hyde was also an impressive heat winner, clocking 48.54s to take heat two in front of Kenny Selmon of the United States in 48.61. Hyde heads into the semifinal with the third-fastest time.
Kyron McMaster from the British Virgin Islands was also a heat winner with 48.79.
All three Americans qualified for the semifinals of the men’s 400m hurdles which will take place on Sunday, Tokyo time.