Like every athlete expecting to be involved in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, 2019 European Athlete of the Year Karsten Warholm was frustrated by the fact the Games had to be postponed to next summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But Norway’s 24-year-old European and two-time world 400m hurdles champion, mature beyond his years, is characteristically balanced in his attitude. “Of course I want to have the Olympics, but I think the Olympic spirit is to take care of the world and to gather all nations,” he says. “And to do that it needs to be safe and it needs to be the right thing to do. 

“For me my main motivation is to always develop, so I will be pushing and training for when it will be back, but when that will be I don’t know.” 

Warholm recently showed the kind of fitness all that training has developed as he ran alone in Oslo’s Bislett Stadium to record a new 300m hurdles world best of 33.78 at the self-styled ‘Impossible Games’ on 11 June. The Norwegian has also made the most of the limited international racing opportunities afforded to him, most recently powering to a European record of 46.87 in the 400m hurdles in Stockholm to inch ever closer to the world record of 46.78.

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