World Championships: Norway’s Karsten Warholm wins 400m hurdles gold
Norway’s 21-year-old Karsten Warholm powered to world 400m hurdles gold to light up a sodden night at London Stadium.
The former decathlete, in his first full season in the event, left American Olympic champion Kerron Clement trailing in his wake as he led from the gun and crossed the line with wide-eyed shock written across his face.
On a dramatic evening, Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo fell apart in the final 10 strides to go from first to fourth and let American Phyllis Francis chase through late for 400m gold, 19-year-old Salwa Eid Naser grabbing silver for Bahrain ahead of American multiple world and Olympic champion Allyson Felix.
Botswana’s Isaac Makwala had earlier battled through both a solo time-trial and a semi-final just two hours later to make a 200m final that seemed impossible when he was excluded from Tuesday’s heats on medical grounds.
With Britain’s Mo Farah safely qualifying for Saturday’s 5,000m final, it was Warholm’s blistering display that deservedly grabbed the headlines, his nation’s first gold at the Worlds since Ingrid Kristiansen took the 10,000m title in Rome 30 years ago.
The 2015 European junior decathlon silver medallist defied his tender years and the experience of the men around him as he judged his effort to perfection in the most brutal of events.
As always he went out hard, but even with Turkey’s Yasmani Copello and Clement chasing him down, stayed strong in the home straight, finishing in 48.35 seconds with Copello taking silver and Clement bronze.
“I truly don’t believe it,” said Warholm. “I’ve worked so hard for this but I don’t know what I have done. This is an amazing feeling. I’m world champion, that’s crazy.”
Miller-Uibo seemed to have her own final in the bag as she maintained her lead over a fading Felix into the final 30 metres.
The Bahamian then appeared to pull a muscle, her left foot catching on the track as all her momentum died.
Francis came charging through to take advantage in a new personal best of 49.92secs, Nasser in her wake for an exceptional silver and Felix, so often the darling of these championships, forced to settle for third.
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