EUGENE, Oregon — Two-time defending world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm says he’s been going at 96% in training but the unknown 4% is a bit concerning as he looks to defend his world title in Oregon this week.
The Norwegian enters the World Athletics Championships 2022 without a competitive race under his belt after suffering a hamstring injury in his season opener at a Diamond League meeting in Rabat last month.
The contest in the Moroccan capital ended prematurely for the world record holder when he tore a muscle in his right hamstring after clearing the first flight of hurdles. Read more: McLaughlin targets another world record? how fit is Warholm? – World Championships 400m hurdles
Warholm who returned to full training revealed that he is in “good shape” ahead of the start of the world championships, but said he has not been functioning at 100%.
“I’ve really had to be smart and to do the right things and try not to get setbacks because I didn’t have time for that,” Warholm told reporters last week.
“I think I’m in good shape, and all that work done before I got the injury, but for now, if my hamstrings can’t take the power that it takes to run, I have a big problem. We go flat out when we run the finals.
“I have been going 96% (in training) and haven’t felt anything. So I don’t know what’s between there (and 100%). That is what I’m going to find out in the days coming up to the championships.”
Warholm captured the Olympic gold medal at last summer’s Games in Tokyo when he set a world record time of 45.94 seconds to defeat American champion Rai Benjamin (46.17) and Brazil’s Alison dos Santos BRA (46.72).
The trio will be back again to lead the title charges this week at the World Athletics Championships, and if they are all fit, we should brace ourselves for something special at Hayward Field.
This year’s championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon from 15-24 July 15.