Warholm wins men’s 400m hurdle
DOHA (AFP) — Norway’s Karsten Warholm retained his 400m hurdles World Championship crown with a barnstorming victory in Doha Monday.
After an opening three days of competition marked by swathes of empty seats, Warholm delighted the biggest crowd of the championships so far with a battling victory at the Khalifa Stadium.
Warholm took gold in 47.42seconds, with his rival Rai Benjamin of the United States claiming silver in 47.66sec. Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba took bronze in 48.03.
The 23-year-old Warholm roared, pumped his fist and slapped his chest as he was introduced to the crowd before the start of the race as part of a dazzling light display.
That set the tone for a classic hurdles battle, with Warholm timing his move to perfection to take the lead heading into the home straight before holding off Benjamin.
“This was a very tough race,” Warholm said. “I actually felt my heart was going to stop. I thought ‘I’m going to die but it’s going to be worth it’.”
Although Monday’s crowd was the largest of the championships so far, most fans had left the arena well before Warholm set off on his lap of honor.
“I’m used to talking to myself so it wasn’t a problem,” Warholm joked.
“It was something else in London (in 2017) when there was 60,000 people there. I’ve got to be honest about that. But at the same time, with the gold medal, I couldn’t care less.”
Warholm’s win came just moments after high jump Lasitskene won a third consecutive world championship title to set alongside her wins in 2015 and 2017.
The 26-year-old, who is one of only 30 Russian athletes allowed to compete in Doha under the authorized neutral athlete banner, took gold ahead of Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh.
Mariya Lasitskene wins women’s high jump
Lasitskene claimed the gold after clearing a height of 2.04m to win on countback ahead of Mahuchikh.
Vashti Cunningham of the United States took bronze.
The win marked another career milestone for Lasitskene, who has dominated international high-jumping in recent years.
“It was like in a fairytale to get a third world title,” Lasitskene said.
“My whole country expected me to be on the podium. I had to cope with this pressure.”
Lasitskene was barred from the 2016 Olympics after Russia was banned from the games over the country’s doping scandal.
But she has since been allowed to compete as a neutral athlete, a status handed to athletes who are deemed to be above suspicion by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Karsten Warholm, of Norway, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men’s 400 meter hurdles final during the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Monday.