Tokyo Olympics, athletics | Karsten Warholm smashes 400mH World record; Wlodarczyk does the ’trick

He had broken Kevin Young’s 29-year-old world record last month and everybody expected Karsten Warholm to repeat it at the Tokyo Olympics.

But none was ready for such an awesome performance. The Norwegian 400m hurdler, who had clocked 46.70s last month, became the first man to go under 46s for a sparkling gold which came at a stunning 45.96s in a breathtaking final.

Apart from a brief phase early on the home straight where he came under a bit of pressure from American Rai Benjamin, son of former West Indian fast bowler Winston Benjamin, it was all Warholm as the Norwegian produced a near-perfect show.

Benjamin also went below the previous WR with his 46.17s for silver, while four others bettered national records.

Incidentally, Warholm, the 2013 octathlon champion at the under-18 Worlds, was a multi-eventer and was doing the decathlon till 2015 before moving to the hurdles seriously.

Duplantis soars high

Meanwhile Sweden’s Armand Duplantis attempted to raise his World record by a centimetre to 6.19m, after taking gold with 6.02m, but narrowly missed it.

And then, Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk made history while winning the hammer throw (78.48m), to become the first woman to win three Olympic golds in the same discipline, a feat that had eluded Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Croatian discus thrower Sandra Perkovic.

Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman in Tokyo, completed the double-double by taking the 200m gold in 21.53s to repeat her gold show in Rio.

American Athing Mu and Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, both juniors, made it an impressive 1-2 in the women’s 800m while German Malaika Mihambo pipped American Brittney Reese with a last-round 7m for the women’s long jump title.

Anita Wlodarczyk hurled the hammer long to continue her reign since London 2012.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images


Way below their best

A day after discus thrower Kamalpreet sent the country on a bit of a high, Indians were back on familiar territory with discus thrower Annu Rani and shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor posting poor marks in the qualification round.

Annu, the 2019 Worlds finalist and a consistent 60m-plus thrower, was last overall with just 54.04m while Toordisappointed with 19.99m, his lone legal effort and finished 13th in his group and 24th overall. Only 12 make the final in throws.

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