Norwegian superstar Karsten Warholm has said that he would happily have shared his 2019 Diamond League title with US rival Rai Benjamin.
The world 400m hurdles champion pipped Benjamin in a stunning contest in last year’s Diamond League Final. While the US hurdler clocked a PB of 46.98, Warholm claimed the title with a European record of 46.92.
“He didn't deserve to come second. I wanted to share that trophy with him, because he deserved half of that trophy,” said Warholm in the Stockholm edition of the Wanda Diamond League Call Room, which is due to air on the series' Facebook and YouTube channels at 18.00 GMT on Sunday (24).
“He ran a time which would have won the Diamond League by a mile in any other year!” added the Norwegian.
"Going into that Diamond League Final, I was really motivated to win. Kyron McMaster had beaten me twice before, so I felt it was my turn. I just went out there and did whatever I could to get my hands on that trophy.”
Diamond League champion Warholm is set to compete at the Bislett Impossible Games in Oslo next month, where he will be attempting to break the world record in the 300m hurdles.
“It's good to get motivation and go back to training," he said. "It's nice to have something to look forward to.
“The Impossible Games give me just what I need to get to work and have that edge in training, knowing something big will happen in the near future.”
Duplantis: 'Why not be even better in 2021?'
Warholm was joined by Mondo Duplantis and host Thomas Byrne in this week's episode.
The newly crowned pole vault world record-holder claims he has shaken off the disappointment of a postponed Olympics, and promised to come back even stronger at the Tokyo Games in 2021.
Duplantis cemented his status as the new king of athletics when he twice broke the world record in February, setting a breathtaking new mark of 6.18m in Glasgow.
But just as the Swedish-US superstar was hitting the form of his life, the coronavirus crisis stopped him dead in his tracks, with the postponement of Tokyo 2020 dealing a fatal blow to his dreams of Olympic glory this summer.
“It's a bit of a shame because of how much of a roll I was getting on, but of course I understand the decision.
“Yeah I was jumping really well, but I kind of think: why not be even better next year?”
The coolly confident 20-year-old has been sitting out lockdown in his home state of Louisiana, training on the homemade pole vault runway in his back garden.
It was there that he learned how to vault from a very young age, and there where he cleared five metres 36 times in 30 minutes to come joint first in the World Athletics Ultimate Garden Clash earlier this month.
“Training’s been a little tougher, trying to go back to the roots. That’s where it all started: in the back yard,” he says.
“I’ve been playing a lot of golf, watching Netflix and playing video games,” he says. “But I definitely want to get back on the road and start competing again.”
Wanda Diamond League for World Athletics