Karsten Warholm of Norway is the new world record-holder in the men's 400m hurdles, toppling from track and field's all-time bests pedestal a performance run by American Kevin Young at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics that stood nearly three decades.
In front of a home crowd Thursday at the 2021 Bislett Games Diamond League meet in Oslo, the two-time reigning world champion had a blistering start and crossed the finish in 46.70, eight-hundredths of a second under Young's long-standing mark of 46.78.
"This was just a perfect moment," Warholm said after the race. "Everybody's talking about this world record that had been standing for many, many years – it's older than me, actually.
"First time, Bislett [Games], back with audience, family and friends in the stadium, I knew I had it in me but of course it's very special to be able to do it, and I'm just really happy and really proud. It's an amazing moment.
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"I knew that I have had fast times in my body for a long time, but it's one thing to know that you're in good shape, it's another thing to be able to go out and perform."
The 25-year-old's record feat arrives less than a week after American Rai Benjamin came five-hundredths of a second short of Young's time at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, clocking 46.83 to leap Warholm for second-fastest in history.
Warholm's result further energizes what was already expected to be a showdown of the ages at this summer's Tokyo Games. He, Benjamin – now third-fastest – and Qatar's Abderrahman Samba, the fourth-best ever, all will be there to compete.
The former decathlete has now run seven of the top 15 times ever run in the men's 400m hurdles – three at sub-70 – and reestablishes himself as the favorite heading into the Olympics.
Young's record was among the oldest on the books in men's track and field – the oldest for individual Olympic program events on the track.
The two-time Olympian ran his now former world-record time in the final of those 1992 Games, besting Edwin Moses' nine-year-old mark (47.02) from 1983 by nearly a quarter-second to capture gold and set the still-standing Olympic record.
Barcelona would be his last Olympics. After winning the world title a year later in Stuttgart, Germany, Young changed coaches, dealt with injuries and didn't make it past the semifinals at the 1996 U.S. trials.
The Los Angeles native was a walk-on at UCLA. According to a 1986 LA Times piece, his only high school credential was a third-place finish at states and was helped only by a $1,000 Coca-Cola scholarship for "aspiring, future Olympians."
Young was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2006.
A more dated, 31-year-old record from the field fell less than two weeks ago at U.S. trials when American Ryan Crouser broke Randy Barnes' world shot put record (23.12m) from 1990 with a 23.37-meter hurl.
Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj's invincible 1500m world record from 1998 now replaces Young's record as the oldest among the aforementioned criteria.