WORLD RECORD‼ ️
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– #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 3, 2021
TOKYO – Norway’s Karsten Warholm erased his own world record in the Olympic 400-meter hurdles on Tuesday, finishing in 45.94 to break the old mark by 0.76.
One of the most anticipated races on the schedule lived up to the hype.
American Rai Benjamin, second, finished in 46.17, also bettering the record of 46.7 set by Warholm last month.
Warholm ripped his jersey when he crossed the line first. He displayed the same astonished gaze as when he announced himself on the world stage with his victory at the world championships in 2017.
Alison dos Santos of Brazil was third in 46.72, as six of eight runners broke world, continental or national records.
All in all, it was a race that more than lived up to expectations on a scorching afternoon in a nearly empty Olympic stadium.
Incredible but not unexpected.
The hype for this showdown started to build up during the US Olympic trials in June, when Benjamin became only the fourth man to break 47 seconds with a run of 46.83 and said he believed he had a weak 46 in him.
Warholm responded a few weeks later by running the 46.70 and breaking the 29-year-old world record held by American Kevin Young since the Barcelona Olympics.
From lane 6, Warholm flew to the lead, and at the halfway point he was so far ahead of Benjamin that the real race seemed to be Warholm against the clock.
Covering the distance between hurdles 13 powerful stages at a time, Warholm never failed to break his stride. He crossed the line at full speed with his arms, but it did not cost him much. The Low-46 was a long dreamed of dream for most of these hurdlers. Now the mark is in the high 45s.
And, that race could have simply been the undercard for the women’s battle on Wednesday morning in Tokyo.
Warholm’s record came 24 hours before Americans Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad faced off in the women’s 400 hurdles – a race in which they have broken the world record the last three times they have faced each other in a competition major.