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Olympics roundup: Norway’s Karsten Warholm wins ‘best race ever’

Jul 30, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Karsten Warholm (NOR) competes in the men's 400m hurdles round 1 heat 3 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Karsten Warholm (NOR) competes in the men’s 400m hurdles round 1 heat 3 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Norway’s Karsten Warholm won Olympic gold in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, narrowly defeating American Rai Benjamin on Tuesday in Tokyo.

Afterward, Benjamin called it “the best race ever in Olympic history.”

Warholm ran a world record 45.94 time, smashing the mark he set a month ago at 46.70. Benjamin also bested the mark with a blistering time of 46.17. Alison dos Santos of Brazil won the bronze in 46.72.

The previous world record was 46.78 seconds, set by Kevin Young in 1992.

“I don’t think any other race compares to what we just did,” Benjamin said. “It’s undeniable. Like, there’s nothing you can compare to what just happened out there.”

The pace was so fast that six of the eight men competing set national records for their countries.

Benjamin’s silver medal moved the medal count for the United States to 73 to lead the pack, followed by China (69), Russia Olympic Committee (52), Great Britain (43) and Japan (36).

China leads the gold-medal race with 32. The U.S. (24), Japan (19), Australia (14), ROC and Great Britain (tied with 13) trail the Chinese.

In other action Tuesday, the 11th day of competition:

  • Simone Biles won a bronze medal in the women’s balance beam, returning to competition after a week away as she faced mental health issues. Guan Chenchen, a 16-year-old from China, won with a score of 14.633. Tang Xijing (14.233), also of China, won the silver ahead of Biles (14.000). All-around champion Sunisa Lee, from Minnesota, finished fifth.
  • After taking part in team and individual qualifying events, Biles temporarily abandoned her pursuit for medals when she withdrew from the team competition after one event last Tuesday. She said she was suffering from “the twisties,” a loss of awareness in the air, which she attributed to mental health.
  • Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah won the women’s 200-meter run in 21.53 seconds, two nights after winning the 100-meter final. Thompson-Herah won both races in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games as well. Christine Mboma of Namibia was second at 21.81 seconds and American Gabby Thomas earned the bronze in 21.87.
  • American long jumper Brittney Reese won the silver medal in the women’s long jump, concluding her Olympics career with a gold and two silver medals. Malaika Mihambo of Germany won the gold medal on her sixth and final jump with a leap of 22 feet, 11.5 inches, one inch longer than Reese’s best jump. Ese Brume of Nigeria won the bronze.
  • Athing Mu, a 19-year-old American, cruised to a win in the 800-meter run in one minute, 55.21 seconds. Her time was more than three seconds better than that of silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson (1:55.88). American Raevyn Rogers sprinted to the finish line for the bronze.
  • Sweden’s Armand Duplantis won the gold medal in the men’s pole vault, besting American Christopher Nilsen and Thiago Braz of Brazil. Duplantis’ jump of 19 3/4 feet was just shy of his own world record.
  • Kevin Durant scored 29 points as Team USA rallied to beat Spain 95-81 and reach the semifinals of the men’s basketball tournament. Spain led by 10 points with just over three minutes remaining in the second quarter, but the U.S. team used a 29-8 run to take an 11 point lead by midway through the third quarter. Durant had four 3-pointers and a dunk during the run. Up next for the Americans will be Australia, which routed Argentina 97-59 in the quarterfinals. Slovenia, led by NBA superstar Luka Doncic, will meet France in the other semifinal.

–Field Level Media