ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 3 – Olympic 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm was the fastest qualifier for the men’s 400m final on Day 2 of the 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships held at the Ataköy Arena in Istanbul. Warholm clocked in a time of 45.43 seconds.
In the morning session, Warholm ran a quick 45.75 to win his heat. During the evening session, he ran even faster, with a 10.78 (100m) and 21.38 for the first lap, and a 300m in 32.92, leading from start to finish.
The Norwegian star, who won the European Indoor 400m title in 2019, expressed the importance of getting great pacing in the indoor events.
“Whenever I show up at a competition, I try to make sense of it. In indoors, it’s especially important to get great pacing to get a good lane,” Warholm said.
“I ran the fastest in the morning, which gave me lane 6 in the semifinals, which I wanted. It’s tough to go two rounds in one day, especially when it is 400m, oh my God (laughs). At the same time, I am feeling good.”
Warholm hopes for a fast time in the final on Saturday, though he wasn’t sure if this was possible. He is hoping for a sub-45-second performance.
“My opening of the races were really fast. I think I won’t go much faster tomorrow, but we will see. I will try to start as fast as today, maybe a slightly better,” he added.
“If I run sub 45, it will surprise both you and me. Hopefully, I will manage to do it.”
Belgium’s Julien Watrin ran 45.82 for second place behind Warholm in the second semi-final, while defending champion Oscar Husillos (45.86) took third.
In the first semi-final, Sweden’s Carl Bengtström (World Indoor bronze medalist 2022) ran 45.77 to take first place ahead of the Czech Republic’s Matej Krsek (46.03 PB) and Belgium’s Alexander Doom (46.12).