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Norwegian delight in scintillating Oslo Diamond League

Norwegian duo Karsten Warholm and Jakob Ingebrigtsen did not fail their demanding public at Thursday’s Bislett Games as both scorched to victories in impressive times.

World and Olympic 400m hurdles champion and world record holder Warholm, running on his training ground, recorded the fourth fastest time ever with victory in 46.52sec in perfect running conditions in the Norwegian capital.

“The adrenaline was really pumping in the last 100m. It was a race I will always remember – I felt really good today and knew something special was coming,” said Warholm.

“It really sucked to be out injured last year and I wanted to make sure I came back with a big boom – I’ve worked really hard to get back to this level so I’m really happy. I’m of course hoping for the world gold medal this year (in Budapest in August), that would be amazing to have again”.

Not to be outdone, Ingebrigtsen, fresh from a world record in the rarely-run 2 miles event in Paris just six days ago, stormed to the win in the 1500m in 3min 27.95sec, the sixth fastest time ever and European record.

There were regional records to American Yared Nuguse (North America) and Australian Oliver Hoare (Oceania) in a breath-taking race.

The fifth meet of the Diamond League circuit featured a raft of other meet records in a scintillating night of track and field. 

Dutchwoman Femke Bol, Olympic bronze and world silver medallist, set the first meet record and world leading time of 52.30sec in winning the women’s 400m hurdles.

Only three athletes have gone faster: American Dalilah Muhammad (second in the 2021 Tokyo Games) and her teammate Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone.

“It felt really good and fast,” said Bol. 

“The world championships are still two months away so I am feeling good and I continue the work towards the championships.”

Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha and Ugandan Jakob Kiplimo, at the sixth fastest time ever or 12:41.73, were in a photo finish for the men’s 5,000m.

The only athletes to have gone faster are Ugandan record holder Joshua Cheptegei, Ethiopian legends Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie, and Kenya’s Daniel Komen.

Ta Lou, Knighton on fire

American teenager Erriyon Knighton, the fifth fastest man over 200m in history, roared home in a meet record of 19.77sec.

Completely dominating the race, Knighton streaked through the line well ahead of Olympic champion Andre de Grasse, the Canadian having to be content with a fifth-placed finish in 20.33sec.

There was a remarkable meet record and under-20 world record of 4:17.13 for Ethiopian Birke Haylom, aged just 17, in the dream mile.

And there was yet another meet record in the women’s 100m when Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou smashed American Marion Jones’ previous best of 10.82sec from 1998 when she won in 10.75m.

Sweden’s ‘Mondo’ Duplantis won the men’s pole vault with a best of 6.01m, his 46th clearance over the mythical 6m mark.

In his first Diamond League meet since Monaco in 2017, 2016 Olympic champion and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk held on to win the 400m in 44.38sec ahead of Zambia’s Muzala Samukonga.

“It was a good race and it is great to be back on the circuit, but it is very hard for me right now,” the South African winner said.

“I’m just taking it race by race – I try not to think too far ahead but of course, Budapest is a big goal. I’m happy to be back beating these guys, the event is in a good place right now.”

The first big competition of the season for Olympic and three-time world champion Yulimar Rojas went the way the towering Venezuelan wanted, with a win in 14.91m.

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