6 Aug 2018

‘You only live once,’ says Norway's Karsten Warholm of his one-lap double bid

The Norwegian has his eye on an unusual double at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.

Norway’s world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm will attempt an unusual double at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships by adding the 400m flat title to his gold medal ambitions over the barriers.

"I ran a 400m (recently), went home, thought about it for a second and was like, 'this can be fun'," he said. "You only live once, so I'm going for it."

The 22-year-old former decathlete, who rose to prominence last season when he won the world one-lap hurdles title, took 400m silver at the 2015 European Junior Championships and holds the Norwegian senior record of 44.87.

He also ran both events at the European Under 23 Championships in 2017 and won silver in the flat race and gold in the hurdles.

"I've done some doubles before. It's never had the best effect on my body, but I keep on trying," he said.

Warholm won the 400m hurdles at last month's London Diamond League meeting in a national record of 47.65 seconds and will start that event as favourite.

"Last year I won the world title and had a best of 48.22," he said. "This year I have been running more than half a second faster. That shows me that I've done extraordinary work and so has my coach in taking us along.

"Of course, when you win the World Championships there will always be some pressure and expectation. But I think that is an advantage as well. Pressure is one of those things that can make you perform very well. I like the energy that gives me."

 Warholm will face stiffer opposition in the 400m, where Britain's 23-year-old Matthew Hudson-Smith is the European leader with 44.63.

"I've known Karsten since 2016," Hudson-Smith said. "We have competed at European junior level. He's just as crazy as me. He's a championship performer, I'm a championship performer. Let's see what happens."

The first round of the men’s 400m hurdles takes place in Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Monday and the men's 400m begins on Tuesday.