Karsten Warholm after setting a European 400m hurdles record at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo (© Deca Text & Bild)
Karsten Warholm electrified a sold-out crowd at Bislett Stadium on Thursday (13) night, breaking the European record in the 400m hurdles with a sensational 47.33 performance.
From the gun, Warholm, one of the meeting's poster boys, was on fire. The world champion was off to his typically strong start but this time had Diamond League champion Kyron McMaster, who was running to his inside in lane six, for company. The pair were nearly even after the first six hurdles, when the British Virgin Islander began to drift. But Warholm forged on as he entered the homestretch, a solitary figure lifted by the massive roar of the crowd. After watching the clock stop at 47.33, he dropped to the ground, repeating 'What?' over and over again.
"It's crazy to run a European record and it's amazing to do it here at Bislett,” said Warholm, who opened his season with a 47.85 win in Stockholm. “My coach thought I would run 47.30 so he was nearly right. I've worked so hard during the winter with the pressure coming at me, so this is a very special feeling, it's the best in the world."
Underscoring Warholm's dominance tonight, the runner-up, Thomas Barr, who passed a badly fading McMaster in the waning stages, was nearly two seconds back in 49.11, 0.01 ahead of McMaster.
Dramatic debut for McLaughlin
In the first super showdown of the night, Sydney McLaughlin pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind victory to make her 400m hurdles Diamond League debut a memorable one.
But it was hardly pretty.
As Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad blasted from the blocks to her outside, the world U20 record holder crashed through the first hurdle with her knee, throwing her off balance, and seemingly out of contention and into chase mode for the next three-quarters of the race. In front of her, Muhammad and world champion Kori Carter were battling for the lead, pulling away steadily as they reached the final bend. With Carter beginning to drift back, Muhammad brought a sizable lead into the final stretch, but it was there that McLaughlin began here rebound.
Passing Carter as she approached hurdle nine, she began chipping into Muhammad's lead as the latter began to wilt from her flying start. Putting her late race strength on vivid display, McLaughlin caught and then passed her about three metres before the line, clocking 54.16.
"It wasn't the cleanest race for me, but I came back strong and shows me where I am fitness-wise. It was sloppy but I pulled through."
Muhammad clocked 54.35 with Shamier Little third in 54.92.
Lasitskene tops 2.01m
Mariya Lasitskene was all smiles after her dominant performance in the high jump. An early miss at 1.94m was the only blemish on her score card through 1.98m, the latter a clearance to seal the win. Jumping alone, she topped 2.01m with her third attempt to collect her second Diamond League win of the year. She topped out at 2.03m, but a strong third effort showed that height isn't too far off.
Swede Erika Kinsey was second at 1.96, equalling her season's best.
Meanwhile, jumping almost at the same time at the same end of the track, Sam Kendricks topped 5.91m with his third attempt to seal his third Diamond League win in as many meetings this season. Piotr Lisek of Poland, Cole Walsh of USA and Swede Armand Duplantis finished second, third and fourth, respectively, on countback at 5.81m.
Fourth Bislett win for Ibarguen
Caterine Ibarguen won her fourth Bislett title in the triple jump, taking command of the competition in the fifth round with a world-leading 14.79m leap to wrestle the lead away from Keturah Orji of the US.
"Yes it was tough work today, I had only one good jump," the 2018 World Athlete of the Year said. "But this is magical track and I wanted to win."
The American reached 14.53m to secure second, with Shanieka Ricketts of Jamaica third with 14.41m.
Gong Lijiao retook the reins in the Diamond League shot put battles with a convincing victory over Shanghai winner Chase Ealey of the US. The world champion took command of the competition from the outset, and put it out of reach with an 19.51m effort in he fifth round. Ealey reached 19.20 in the second round to finish second.
Citing a pain in his right adductor, Yohannes Vetter threw just once in the javelin but his 85.27m throw in the opening round sealed the win in his 2019 debut. Estonian Magnus Kirt and Chao-Tsun Cheng of Chinese Taipei were second and third, reaching 84.74m and 84.30m, respectively.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF