EUGENE, Oregon (July 13) —— Two-time reigning world champion Karsten Warholm is ready to take on his rivals in the men’s 400m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Eugene, Oregon, despite his injury setback, which interrupted the latter parts of his preparations.
The world record holder enters the defense of his world title without a completed race under his belt in 2022 after suffering a hamstring injury in his season opener in the Rabat Diamond League meeting on 5 June.
However, although he has no competitive performances thus far on the season, the Norwegian is not short on confidence heading into the world championships –revealing that his training prior to picking up the injury had been going “very, very good.”
The 25-year-old added that he would have loved to test his form before the intense competition at Hayward Field, but he’s looking forward to defending his crown.
“Of course, you want to run some races to get some confidence but on the other hand, confidence is not my problem,” Warholm told reporters at Puma House ahead of the championships.
“It’s been very challenging because you get this thing (injured) and you don’t know how each day will go. It’s just a personal disaster for me when it happened.””It’s going to be challenging in the sense of I don’t know what I can bring to the table,” added Warholm, who has not finished a race in 10 months.
“But I know for sure that all the training until the injury happened was very, very good.”
Warholm clocked 45.94 seconds to set the world record on his way to winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, last summer.
Earlier this week he said he was operating at 96% in training, but the 2017 and 2019 world champion, who is expected to face serious challenges from American Olympic silver medalist Rai Benjamin and the Tokyo bronze medalist and current world leader, Alison dos Santos of Brazil, is ready to give 100% if he needs to.
“Pretty safe to say that now we’re going in there, we’re going 100%. There is no such thing as going into a championship and feeling just okay,” said the European champion.
Dos Santos sits atop of the world list this year with 46.80 seconds, set when winning at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting on 30 June, while Benjamin ran 47.04 to win the USATF Championships at the end of the month as well.
The World Athletics Championships 2022 begin on 15 July. The heats of the men’s 400m hurdles are set for 16 July.
PHOTO: Karsten Warholm in the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. Photo by Randy Miyazaki