Warholm whets the appetite for another special night
The 400m hurdles is shaping up to be a very special event at the Bislett Games tomorrow evening with local hero, Karsten Warholm looking to repeat last year’s success where he won in a new national record time of 48.25. However this year he faces in-form, Abderrahman Samba from Qatar who has gone under 48 seconds on each of his three appearances this season, the latest in Rome last week where he beat Warholm. With Yasmani Copello of Turkey and Kerron Clement of the USA also in the field the race is sure to be one of the best of the evening.
The four gathered in Oslo City Hall at the famous pre Bislett Games strawberry party to discuss their prospects for the race.
Since last year’s Games Karsten Warholm has become the IAAF World Champion with his magnificent victory in London. Asked if this has made him more well known in Oslo, he said, “There have been some changes but Norway is still more famous for cross-country skiing rather than athletics!”
Looking forward to tomorrow he said, “It is perfect to run with the stands full and the weather is going to be great as well. I have lane seven which suits me as I train often in that lane.”
Abderrahman Samba, the world lead, said, “I will be in lane five so he [Warholm] will be for me to chase.”
Asked about his emergence this year, Samba added “I started to hurdle in 2017 after running some flat 400m. I played handball and basketball before that but now I am sticking to 400m hurdles.”
Former Olympic and World Champion Kerron Clement said, “It is good for the sport that these youngsters are coming through and running so fast. I love surrounding myself with young people as it makes me feel young!”
Yasmani Copello of Turkey, who is in second place in the Diamond League standings, added “My target for this year is the European Championships but I want to reach the Diamond League final as well. “
Asked about the rivalry between Samba and himself, Warholm said “It is very exciting for the crowd and in hurdles you can never tell who will win.”
Finally he added, “I will have a lot of family and friends there tomorrow which is an absolute honour for me so I hope I can do well for them.”
All agreed that the conditions are perfect for a fast race and with the meeting record standing at 47.82 from 1986 perhaps it could be a record breaking event.