SOGNSVANN (VG) Karsten Warholm (25) tops VG’s 100 list for the third time after Olympic gold and a world record for Wikipedia history.
1 of 4Photo: Helge Mikalsen / VG
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The phantom race at the beginning of August has not gone through his head. Millions are pouring in, but Karsten Warholm from Ulsteinvik has not allowed himself to take a single day off from training – as many other Olympic athletes do in the autumn after the summer games.
We meet at Sognsvann – he has trained at the Olympic summit this day, but otherwise he stays over the stands in Vallhall, where Vålerenga trains and plays football in the winter.
– When I walk into Vallhall in the morning, it’s dark. When I go out seven or eight hours later, it’s dark too. I think most people would have been depressed by such a life. Leif (Olav Alnes) usually says that “it’s psychiatry we do, Karsten”. Well then, we enjoy ourselves, but I do not think this would have been for everyone.
– How long are you going to keep doing this?
– A weekday without Leif and the others at training – it is so far for me. I think I have a little fear for real life. I live in a protected bubble, but am also under enormous pressure. But I love it.
– No matter what I do, I want to make it a passion. Then we’ll see what happens. Now this is the passion. But from where I am where I am now, I will never enjoy being list-filled.
Karsten Warholm begins to philosophize. About one round on the athletics track – 400 meters. And the ten hurdles he will pass on the way around.
– It’s a bit special to run around and jump over ten obstacles. Especially now in these corona times. It’s nice when people say they’re inspired to see me run around, without even setting up ten obstacles and running around.
Historic Warholm named the male athlete of the year in the world
Tokyo 3 August 2021: Karsten Warholm fulfilled the “people’s demand” for Olympic gold. But not only that: he ran at a slightly insane 45.94. Just over a month earlier, he had lowered a 29-year-old world record in the distance by eight hundredths – to 46.70.
It makes us think of Sergej Bubka, the pole vaulter who always raised the world record by one centimeter at a time.
– He-he, yes, but it was a stick! It is not so easy at 400 meters hurdles. 45.94 was a surreal time. None of us had seen it for ourselves.
– And now you will be reminded of it every time you run …
– It will not be easy to copy. Fortunately, it’s my time. I will not be compared to a time that another runner has achieved.
Like so many other athletes, he uses the word “we” when it would have been natural to say “I”. “We” he means himself, coach Leif Olav Alnes and also the girls who train with him – Amalie Iuel and Elisabeth Slettum.
– You could stop running 400 meters hurdles – and rather bet on another distance?
– Yes, but it is very triggering that 400 meters hurdles is now one of the hottest exercises for both women and men. The focus between the exercises is constantly changing, but now it’s fun to be a part of what’s happening here. Rai Benjamin also ran under the old world record in Tokyo, and Alison dos Santos is only getting better and better.
– After so many years with Leif Olav Alnes as coach – is he still the man who can take you further?
Karsten Warholm hides well that he is a little shocked by the question. Then he says:
– I think that new impulses would destroy more than benefit us. We have obviously found something that works, and we trust it. Leif talked the other day that there are a lot of good talents and good coaches, but the interpersonal between them should also be true. There are good talents with good coaches – and who still do not get results.
Norwegian gold medal in cross-country European Championships – Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Bjerkeli Grøvdal to the top
He gets serious in his voice:
– The communication and the friendship that we have built up is at least as important as my talent and Leif’s expertise. We get new impulses from people we meet on our journey. For example, when we worked with Mercedes’ Formula 1 team to produce the carbon plate for the running shoe. It was a no-brainer to work with them.
– Will you eventually become an 800-meter runner?
– In that case, it must be when I struggle to keep the speed at 400 meters. But I know how much work goes into 45.94. Although I have many qualities in place, I know that it will cost an extraordinary job to get the same distance of 800 meters.
– Who would you have voted for in VG’s 100 poll?
– I think we active should not have to answer that. But when the light goes out, most of us probably vote for ourselves!