Karsten Warholm watches Tokyo 2020 Olympic-winning run as motivation on ‘bad days’

The Norwegian 400m hurdles GOAT wants to run even faster than his World Record time in Tokyo, but knows he must make changes in order to do so.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

The power of positive thinking works wonders for Karsten Warholm.

The Norwegian athletics star was responsible for one of the most impressive victories at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in 2021.

Despite going into the men’s 400m hurdles final as the favourite, he took everyone by surprise by storming around the track in a new world record of 45.94. His time was almost a second faster than anyone before him had covered the distance.

Rather than move on from the performance and focus solely on the next goal - as many record breakers do - Warholm uses those memories to help propel him through the rigors of elite athletics training

"I watch it every time I have a bad day and need some motivation to go to practice," Warholm told the BBC World Service.

"It gives me goosebumps every time."

MORE: Karsten Warholm - Eight fun things you didn't know about the 400m hurdles Olympic champ and world record holder

Warholm's talks of the balance he's trying to strike, between remembering the good times, while avoiding living in the past.

"It is probably good for training and development, but it is also really sad because you are not able to fully enjoy these moments,” he continued, referencing a busy schedule that includes the international meets, the Diamond League, and other events.

"When I am by myself I try to think about all the work I have put in, everything I have got, and I try to be very grateful, because there were 40 guys going to the Olympics trying to win gold and I was able to do it.

Despite being the greatest of all time in his event at 25 years old, Warholm is well aware that he is likely still to reach his athletic potential.

"I need to find a new approach in the way I see my races," he said.

"I need to see progression in things other than just improving my time. If I can be stable at a higher level than I have been before… maybe I can run 46.50 in my first race this year and keep that level. Who knows?

"But it is something I need to get used to because 45.94 is not the sort of thing you can do every Diamond League race. It is going to be tough."

"But I also try to be greedy to go back and win more medals in the future."

The next major event for Warholm is Eugene, Oregon for July's 2022 Athletics World Championships.

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