ISTANBUL, Turkey (March 4) – Karsten Warholm of Norway and Femke Bol of the Netherlands claimed victories in the men’s and women’s 400m titles, respectively, at the European Athletics Indoor Championships here in Istanbul on Saturday.
In the men’s contest, Warholm, the Olympic 400m hurdles champion, won his second European Indoor 400m title, crossing the finish line in a time of 45.35 seconds in a close finish at the Ataköy Arena.
The 25-year-old started strong with a blistering 20.84 seconds opening lap and passed the 300m mark at 32.32 seconds. – Read more: Jakob Ingebrigtsen retains European Indoor 1500m title
However, the fast start took a toll on Warholm, who slowed down drastically in the last 100 meters, fighting to hold off the fast-finishing Julien Watrin of Belgium, who set a national record of 45.44 seconds. Sweden’s Carl Bengtstrom took the bronze medal.
“I was stupid fast today, I think,” Warholm said after the race. “I do not know if you saw it, but I felt lactic acid in the last 100, so I had to fight all the way through. It just had hit me like a wall.
“With this, you never know what is going to come. I was just fighting to save myself and I am just very happy it was gold today.”
Bol, the world record holder in the women’s 400m race, dominated the field to win back-to-back European Indoor Championships titles.
The Dutch star posted a fast time of 49.85 seconds, with training partner Lieke Klaver taking the silver medal in a time of 50.57 seconds. Anna Kiełbasińska of Poland won bronze with a season best of 51.25.
“The race was nice, just like all races on championships like these,” Bol said after the race. “It is very cool, especially that my teammates are also on the podium.
“It makes it even more special that I could defend my title, and become European Champion for the second time in a row.”
She added: “The time is also very quick, which makes me feel really happy. I have multiple European titles, but the world title is still missing.”
The European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul will conclude on Sunday (5).