Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm shattered his own world record by such a large margin that even he was in disbelief.
The 25-year-old set the 400-metre hurdles world record before the Games with a time of 46.70 at a meet in Oslo on July 1, and demolished it by 0.76 seconds in the Tokyo 2020 final to take home gold.
His face said it all.
Once reality set in, and Warholm had a split second to reflect on his god-like 45.94 run, the two-time Olympian celebrated the same way a pro soccer player would after scoring a hat trick and tore his shirt.
The Viking came out blazing to start the race and looked as though he might cruise to gold. But he faced a worthy challenge from American Rai Benjamin, who gradually caught up to Warholm as the two came down the final stretch.
Things looked tight until Warholm’s six-foot-two frame exploded over the final hurdle and turned on the jets to blast in front of Benjamin all the way to the finish line.
Benjamin, who won silver, also smashed the previous world record with a time of 46.17. Can you imagine how he feels?
Taking home bronze with a 46.72 run was the heartfelt story of Alison dos Santos. The Brazilian accidentally turned a pan of hot oil over his head when he was 10 years old and spent more than four months in a hospital with third-degree burns. His scars are still visible to this day.
Warholm is no stranger to the podium having won world championship gold in 2017 and 2019. He failed to make it out of the semifinals as a 20-year-old at Rio 2016.
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