Karsten Warholm before the timer that marks his record.Fredrik Hagen / AP
Watching TV, you have to pay close attention to get out of the enchantment: yes, it seems not, but on 7th street there are also 10 hurdles, although the athlete who flies there passes them as if they did not exist, without effort, without changing the rhythm or the breadth of your step.
It is the Bislett stadium in Oslo.
It's July 1, 2021. It's 9:51 p.m. and the sun is still shining.
The athlete from 7th Street is called Karsten Warlhom, he is 25 years old, he is Norwegian, he runs down his lucky street and he is breaking the world's oldest track and field record, the 400m hurdles.
"A record older than me", says the blond Norwegian born on February 28, 1996 after verifying that the timer has stopped at 46.70s, eight hundredths less than the extraordinary 46.78s with which the North American Kevin Young On August 6, 1992, he won gold at the Barcelona Olympic Games at the Montjuïc Stadium, he became the athlete who first came down from the 47s and erased the era of his compatriot Edwin Moses, the athlete who dominated the specialty since the Montreal Games 76 until then and that by beating four times the world record set by Ugandan John Akii Bua in Munich 72 (47.82s) had left it at 47.02s in 1983.
Her world record comes just four days after the North American Sydney McLaughlin broke the women's world record in the same specialty in Eugene, United States, with 51.90s. In the first six months of the Olympic year, Tokyo has broken six world athletics records in Olympic events. In addition to the two records of the 400m hurdles, the men's weight (23.37, Ryan Crouser, on June 18 in Eugene), the women's 10,000m, which was broken twice in 72 hours, first the Dutch Sifan Hassan and then the Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey, who left it in 29m 1.03s, on June 8 in Hengelo, Netherlands, and the 20-kilometer women's walk (1h 23m 49s, China's Yang Jiayu, on March 20 in Huangshan, China).
Karsten Warholm earned his first worldwide media cover not only for winning gold in the 400m hurdles at the age of 21 at the World Championships in London 2017 on a rainy night in August at age 21, but for celebrating his victory with such a stunned face. , and the hands on both sides of the face, that it seems that he was posing for
the mythical painting of his countryman Edvald Munch. After scratching a bit on his business card it was concluded that the Norwegian athlete who was going for a decathlon but decided he liked hurdles more than nothing could be a man chosen to break Young's long-standing record. In August 2019, he already managed to drop below 47s (46.92s) and last summer, in the midst of the pandemic, he touched the record in every way, as he stayed at 46.87s in Oslo after minimally tripping over the tenth hurdle. . A year later, and just four weeks after showing his great form, beating his world record for the 300m hurdles for more than half a second (33.26s). "I knew he had the record in his legs," said Warholm, whose clash with North American Rai Benjamin (46.83s five days ago) will be one of the great moments of the Tokyo Games.“But it is one thing to know it and another to get it. I had been trying for three years and I succeeded in the first race of the year ”.
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