Greg Rutherford was almost left speechless after witnessing Karsten Warholm smash the 400m hurdles world record at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
Warholm clinched gold in emphatic style when clocking the first ever sub-46 second time in the 400m hurdles.
The Norwegian’s 45.94 was an incredible 0.76 seconds faster than the previous world-record time he had set earlier in the summer.
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Remarkably, USA’s Rai Benjamin clocked 46.17, more than half a second faster than the previous WR, while Brazilian bronze medallist Alison dos Santos was just two one-hundredths of a second off Warholm's previous marker.
Image credit: Eurosport
Overall, there were six national records set during that race, but Warholm’s extraordinary run will go down as one of the most memorable moments from the athletics at Tokyo 2020.
“Unbelievable,” said Rutherford, who was trackside to witness the historic performance.
We have just seen one of the greatest athletic performances in the history of this sport. The man has just gone sub-46 in the 400m hurdles.
“To put that in perspective he would have won the 400m British trials flat – without the hurdles being there.
Image credit: Getty Images
“I’m lost for words. He’s already broken the world record once, to do it again in the Olympic final is obviously the place you want to do it.
“To do it to that level, I’m still trying to process what I’ve just seen. Unbelievable. He’s a great person, a great ambassador for the sport. To see that – wonderful.”
Warholm spoke to Rutherford after the race. He said: "It hasn't sunk in but running this time is just crazy. My coach actually told me in training 'the perfect race can be in 45 seconds' but to do it is something else.
"We always said 'well done is better than well spoken' and today I knew that it was going to be a tough race.
I've just got to give credit to my competitors as well. Can you imagine running 46.17 and getting a silver? He deserves a gold as well.
"I told my subconscious going in 'when you get to the last hurdle put in everything you've done to reach this moment'."
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