The final day of the Bydgoszcz 2017 European Athletics U23 Championships produced a glorious record-breaking performance in the men’s 400m hurdles from one of the sports emerging superstars, Norway’s Karsten Warholm.
It was a performance of power, strength and concentration from the 21-year-old Warholm.
A day earlier he had faded to second place in the closing stages of the 400m final but Warholm made sure there was going to be no repeat of that performance as he led all the way over the barriers and still had enough in reserve to stretch away down the home straight before triumphing in a championship record of 48.37.
It was some task to run in both the 400m and 400m hurdles in Bydgoszcz but he was delighted with the outcome. “I am very tired, and I am so happy to have the record. I managed to have a pretty good run and the tank is now empty. The time is even better than I expected,” said Warholm, who ran six races in four days in Bydgoszcz.
Warholm broke the 14-year-old championship record of 48.45 which Poland's Marek Plawgo, who was watching in the stands as an ambassador of the event, set in the same stadium back in 2003.
Confirmation was not really needed but his season was further evidence of what a tough and determined individual Warholm is, having combined the decathlon with the 400m flat at the European Athletics U20 Championships in 2015 when he won silver in both events.
His win in Bydgoszcz was the start of an extraordinary few weeks for Warholm, who would then win gold at the IAAF World Championships London 2/017 in August with a performance that showed off a precocious talent.
Later in August, he also reduced his national 400m hurdles record to a European-leading 48.22 at the IAAF Diamond league final in Zurich.
His performances in Bydgoszcz and London were instrumental in Warholm being named as the Male Rising Star at the European Athletics’ Golden Tracks awards in Vilnius, Lithuania, later in the year.