Warholm, Bol retain European 400m hurdles titles

football11 June 2024 19:40| © AFP
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Norway's Karsten Warholm and Femke Bol of the Netherlands underlined all their class by wrapping up dominant victories in the men and women's 400m hurdles at the European championships in Rome on Tuesday.

In a perfect stepping stone towards the Paris Olympics, just 46 days away, Warholm won a third successive European title after previously winning in Berlin in 2018 and Munich in 2022. It was a second for Bol.

Both Warholm and Bol set new championship records.

Warholm, the Olympic champion and a three-time world gold medallist, timed 46.98 seconds for the victory ahead of Italian Alessandro Sibilio, who took silver in 47.50sec, and Sweden's Carl Bengtstrom bronze in 47.94, both national records.

Warholm, who is also world record holder in the event, is known for his kamikaze starts and there was no deviation from the script at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Norwegian, in lane eight, hared out of his starting blocks and was already past Bengtstrom, on his outside, by the second of the 10 hurdles.

He motored away down the far straight before crushing the bend into the home stretch.

Running in new spikes in a bid to improve his final 200 metres, Warholm looked to tire coming into the line, but victory was never in doubt.

Sibilio ran a fantastic race on Warholm's shoulder, while Bengtstrom did well to recover from being overtaken by the Norwegian so early on.

It was a similar story for Bol, the world champion clocking 52.49sec in a totally dominant victory.

Running with her trademark upright style in lane six, Bol moved smoothly into the lead from the gun and held it easily through to the tape.

France's Louise Maraval claimed silver in a personal best of 54.23sec, with another Dutch athlete, Cathelijn Peeters, taking bronze (54.37).

Already a bronze medallist in Rome in Friday's 4x400m mixed relay, Bol will now turn her attention to the women's 4x400m relay, the final of which is scheduled for 7:06pm GMT on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old had been looking to repeat her triple gold showing from the last Euros in Munich, but might now have to suffice with two.