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Karsten Warholm runs 46.70 to beat 400m hurdles world record at Oslo Diamond League

After coming close to the record so many times, Warholm is officially the fastest to ever run the 400mH

Photo by: Instagram/kwarholm

Norway’s Karsten Warholm charged to the 400m hurdles world record on Thursday in front of a home crowd at the Oslo Diamond League, running 46.70 seconds. Warholm has dominated the 400mH for the past few years, with his last loss in the event coming in the fall of 2018, but American hurdler Kevin Young‘s 1992 world record of 46.78 eluded him until now. His run was the exclamation point on an already thrilling day of racing that saw multiple records fall. 

Warholm’s world record 

Warholm made his Olympic debut in 2016, but he didn’t put on too much of a show, failing to make it out of the 400mH heats. It was a different story a year later at the world championships in London, where he won gold, officially marking the start of his reign over the event. In 2019, he defended his world championship crown, and in 2020, with the Olympics cancelled, he set about running down Young’s record. 

Warholm started with the 300mH world record, which he set at the Impossible Games (an exhibition event that replaced the 2020 Oslo Diamond League), running 33.26 seconds. He proceeded to win all six of his 400mH races that summer, coming within a second of Young’s record on multiple occasions. His fastest run was a 46.87 run in Sweden in August, which at the time was the second-fastest result in history. (American Rai Benjamin ran 46.83 seconds on June 26, briefly passing Warholm in the all-time rankings.)

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After so many close finishes, Warholm has finally beaten Young’s mark, and now the only thing that is missing form his athletic resume is an Olympic medal. In the same race on Thursday, Brazil’s Alison dos Santos finished second, setting a national and South American record of 47.38 seconds. 

World leads and record runs

The women’s 400mH also saw a big result, with Femke Bol of the Netherlands setting yet another national record in the event. She won the race in 53.33, beating her previous best (which she ran in June) of 53.44. The result is also a U23 European record. Bol now owns nine of the top 10 400mH results in Dutch history, and she’s only 21 years old. Canadian 400mH record holder Sage Watson also raced in Oslo, finishing in 56.52 seconds. 

The men’s 3,000m saw Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha run a world-leading time and Diamond League record of 7:26.25. The result is a PB for Kejelcha, and it places him at third all-time among Ethiopians, behind only Kenenisa Bekele (7:25.79) and Haile Gebrselassie (7:25.09). Canadian Kieran Lumb raced the 3K, finishing in a season-best time of 7:46.28. 

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More Canadians ran the women’s 5,000m, with Andrea Seccafien racing and Kate Van Buskirk on pacing duties. Seccafien finished in 15:10.00, placing ninth. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri won the race in 14:26.38, and Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan ran a national record of 14:28.55. Wrapping up the Canadian results, Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown took the top two spots in the men’s 200m. De Grasse won the race in 20.09 seconds, and Brown was just behind in 20.38. The race marks the first individual win of De Grasse’s season. 

Finally, the day saw one more record-packed race, this time in the men’s mile. Australia’s Stewart McSweyn took the win in a national and area record of 3:48.37, and he was followed closely by Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski, who ran a national best of 3:49.11. Third went to McSweyn’s teammate Jye Edwards, who ran a PB of 3:49.27, and sixth-place finisher Ronald Musagala of Uganda ran a national record of 3:53.04. 

For full results from Oslo, click here.