The Impossible Games were run in an almost empty stadium on Thursday night in Oslo with a limited number of events, many of which featured just a couple of athletes. In a regular year, this would have the makings of a bland, unexciting event, and we wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to watch it. But 2020 is no regular year, and this event was a hit, with tens of thousands of people tuning in online to see national, European and world records broken at Oslo’s Bislett Stadium. Professional track is back, and it made a triumphant return to the grand stage.
Warholm’s world record
Norway’s Karsten Warholm is a two-time world champion and European record-holder in the 400m hurdles. His PB of 46.92 is the second-fastest 400mH time in history. He has accomplished a lot in his career, and he’s only 24 years old. In front of a home crowd (well, kind of — those few people who were in attendance) in Oslo on Thursday night, he added another item to his already-full athletic resume, running a 300mH world record.
The time to beat was 34.48, and Warholm smashed it by more than half a second, posting a time of 33.78. Following his run, the Impossible Games commentator said, “There are athletes who would be happy to do that on the flat, never mind the hurdles.”
Lets Run’s Jonathan Gault put the run into context, tweeting “Warholm’s 33.78 for 300m hurdles today is 45.04 pace for 400 meters. Kevin Young‘s world record is 46.78.” An extra 100m is a long way to go, and Warholm could slow significantly in that time, but if he maintains the level of fitness he put on display in Oslo, he looks like he could be a real threat to take the 400mH record for himself in the near future.
More records for the Ingebrigtsens
The pole vault was the first event to kick off the Impossible Games, but Filip Ingebrigtsen got the track competitions started with a Norwegian record in the 1,000m. He started the race with three other runners, but he was the lone finisher, posting a 2:16.46 to break the 24-year-old national record.
Success for Filip Ingebrigtsen, who, as the only finisher of the men's 1000m, runs a Norwegian record of 2:16.46 to shave .32 off the old record held by 1996 Olympic 800 champ Vebjorn Rodal. pic.twitter.com/F3wPD7ZCat
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) June 11, 2020
Later in the evening, Filip took to the track again, this time joined by brothers Henrik and Jakob for the 2,000m. This was a team event, with the Ingebrigtsens and two other Norwegian athletes running in Oslo and a team of five Kenyans—including 1,500m world champions Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi—who ran in Nairobi. The times of the top three finishers from each team were added together, and the team with the best total time won. Luck was not on the Kenyans’ side, and the conditions in Nairobi were far worse than in Oslo, so the Ingebrigtsens took the win pretty easily.
The team results ultimately became secondary to Jakob’s individual run, because the 19-year-old ran a new European 2,000m record of 4:50.01. He beat the previous record by over one second, and he smashed the Norwegian record by over 10 seconds. This is Jakob’s second big run of 2020 after clocking a 13:29 to set the Norwegian 5K record at a race in May.
Sondre Nordstad Moen also added to the night’s list of records, running 1:12:46.5 for a new European 25,000m record, beating the previous best of 1:13:57.6.