Karsten Warholm hoping to make Olympic gains as he prepares for Impossible Games

Nick Mashiter, PA
PA Media: Sport

Double world champion Karsten Warholm has warned he will get even faster as he prepares to lead athletics’ reboot.

The 24-year-old will aim to break the 300m hurdles world record at the Impossible Games in Oslo next week.

It has replaced the Diamond League meet after the coronavirus crisis stopped the world’s sporting calendar.

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Karsten Warholm won his second world title in Doha last year. (Martin Rickett/PA)
Karsten Warholm won his second world title in Doha last year. (Martin Rickett/PA)

Norway’s Warholm ran 46.92 seconds in Zurich last year, the second fastest 400m hurdles of all time, and after the postponement of the Olympics until next year, the gold medal favourite believes he will benefit from the extra time.

He told the PA news agency: “I don’t like to speculate in these things but I have a strong belief this extra year with training can be an advantage.

“There are several good athletes in the 400m hurdles in the position for the Olympic gold, time will show who will be the winner.

“I guess we all miss the competitive edge this year but the serious situation of Covid-19, sport is secondary, and we must take the virus situation seriously.

“We are still young, and hopefully we will have many good years with competitions in the future.”

Warholm, who defended his 400m hurdles world title in Doha last year, will target Chris Rawlinson’s 18-year 300m hurdles record of 34.48 seconds at the Impossible Games on June 11.

He has run 34.26secs indoors and has vowed to go all out, despite having to modify training this year.

He said: “Time will show. It’s the first and maybe the only competition for me this year and I am running alone, so it will not be easy. But I’m really looking forward to it.

“Each day training I give absolutely 100 per cent effort and I only compete against myself. This can be a useful technique to transfer into this competition without competitors.

“I’ve been able to do my training with some adjustments. It has been a lot of core training that doesn’t requires a lot of space, that is practical when locations are closed.”

Warholm has run the second fastest 400m hurdles of all time. (John Walton/PA)
Warholm has run the second fastest 400m hurdles of all time. (John Walton/PA)

The World Indoor Championships in Nanjing were the first major sporting event to be postponed in January as the coronavirus spread.

The Diamond League will restart in Monaco on August 14 – with a planned meet in Gateshead two days later.

The Impossible Games will mark athletics’ return during the global pandemic. The exhibition event will also see a pole-vault contest between world-record holder Mondo Duplantis and multiple Diamond League champion Renaud Lavillenie.

Timothy Cheruiyot will lead a team of five Kenyan runners in a virtual 2000m against Team Ingebrigtsen, which includes Norwegian long-distance runners and brothers Henrik, Filip, and Jakob.

The Norwegians will run in the Bislett Stadium while Team Cheruiyot will race in Nairobi.

Warholm added: “For some people it can make a different to see live sport after so long time with no sport at all. I know many people already looking forward to the Games.

“It’s a good initiative. It shows creativity in these challenging times and it also gives the athletes the possibility to test themselves and the audience to follow some live sport again.

“Due to the circumstances, athletics has an advantage since it is an individual sport and it is possible to arrange competitions within the safety regulations with regards to Covid-19. But even though this is possible, it is not easy.”

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