Eugene, United States: Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos ran the third fastest time of all time to win the world 400m hurdles on Tuesday as Norwegian prodigy Karsten Warholm wilted at Hayward Field.
Dos Santos clocked a championship record of 46.29 seconds, finishing ahead of Americans Rai Benjamin and Trevor Bassitt, who finished in 46.89 and 47.39sec respectively.
Olympic champion and world record holder Warholm led coming into the home straight but seized up badly and eventually came in seventh (48.42).
Warholm last lost a 400m hurdles race in September 2018 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Since then, he had notched up a winning streak of 18 races and another four qualifying races in the 2019 world championships and 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Warholm laid down a performance that is widely considered one of the greatest Olympic track performances of all time when he smashed the 29-year-old world record to win the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Games in a time of 45.94sec.
But the 26-year-old pulled up injured at the Diamond League meet in Rabat in early June with a “muscle fibre tear” in a hamstring and although insisting he was at 100% going into the race, he missed his usual gas over the final 80 metres.
Britain’s Jake Wightman upstaged Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win a thriller of a men’s 1500m on Tuesday. Ingebrigtsen led at the bell for the final lap, but Wightman stuck with the pace and bolted with 200 metres to go, successfully holding off the Norwegian for victory in 3min 29.23sec. Ingebrigtsen took silver in 3:29.47, with Spaniard Mohammed Katir claiming bronze (3:29.90).
Kenya’s Abel Kipsang shot to the front from the start, while Ingebrigtsen settled in five back with an outside line at Hayward Field.
With two laps to go, the Norwegian overtook Kipsang and reigning world champion Timothy Cheruiyot as the pack split into single file. At the bell for the final lap, it was Ingebrigtsen, the two Kenyans and the British pair of Josh Kerr and Wightman who accelerated away.
Wightman played Ingebrigtsen at his own game and broke at the bend, pulling away into the home straight. Ingebrigtsen tried to counter, but the Briton held on for a fantastic win, his father Geoff reduced to a cracked voice as he did the in-stadium commentary.
“That’s my son and he’s world champion,” an emotional Geoff told Hayward Field.
Ingebrigtsen said he had felt good. “But I made some mistakes, I didn’t keep up in the last 200. I’m owning it but somewhat disappointed. But I’m very happy for him. It’s an honor to get a medal of course.”
Cramps for Kerley
World 100-meter champion Fred Kerley, meanwhile, will not have a chance at two individual medals at the world championships after he slowed down midway through his 200-meter semifinal due to a cramp and finished sixth.
The American, once a 400-meter specialist who moved down in distance before last year’s Olympics, was holding his left hamstring Tuesday night after he crossed the finish line.
Kerley won the 100 in 9.86 seconds and was expected to lead the Americans in the 4x100 relay this weekend. He hasn’t been ruled out.
His departure opens a less-challenging path for Noah Lyles, the defending world champion, 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton, and top-ranked Kenny Bednarek, all of whom advanced. The trio had the top three times, led by Lyles at 19.62 seconds.