With less than 200 days to go until the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships from 25-30 August, European Athlete of the Year Karsten Warholm from Norway has confirmed his intentions to challenge for two gold medals this summer.
“I love challenges and a double in Paris will be a tough one. I already tried it in Berlin in 2018 and I reached the final [he finished eighth in the 400m after winning the 400m hurdles]. I learned that this is tough - but possible - and I know I can do better in Paris,” he said.
The schedule in Paris is arguably an even tougher one for Warholm. The 400m hurdles semifinal takes place on the morning of the 400m final but Warholm is accustomed to such assignments. He contested both events at the 2017 European U23 Championships, running six races in four days, and he attempted an even more improbable decathlon/400m double at the 2015 European U20 Championships.
Warholm has been a regular visitor to Paris in his career thus far and he tested out the new Mondo track surface in the Paris Diamond League last August, extending his winning streak with victory in the 400m hurdles in 47.26 - just five days before smashing through the 47 second-barrier in the Zurich Diamond League.
“I like running in Paris, the new track is very nice. The stadium is always packed with a crowd giving athletes good vibes,” assessed Warholm who went unbeaten in 17 races across all distances last year.
“Back from Tokyo, Paris is a perfect place for these European Championships. I am really looking forward to it. The interest for track and field in Norway is huge these days, with many athletes performing very well. Many Norwegian fans will come to support us, I will feel like home.”
Warholm won one of three gold medals for Norway at a memorable European Championships in Berlin with Jakob Ingebrigtsen, only 17 at the time, winning titles in both the 1500m and 5000m. Henrik Ingebrigtsen also won silver in the 5000m with Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal coming away with bronze in the 3000m steeplechase.
The organisers of Paris 2020 are very pleased with initial ticket sales. 90 percent of tickets which have gone on sale at this stage have already been bought with more tickets due to go on sale at the end of the month.
And taking inspiration from the European Mile which proved so successful at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, fans will also be able to follow the action this summer at the Athletics Park which will be constructed in the heart of the capital in the Trocadero.
The Athletics Park will be staging both the qualifying round of the men’s and women’s long jump as well as medal ceremonies and other sporting, cultural and gastronomic events.