Norwegian hurdles king Karsten Warholm insisted Wednesday he was going to bring everything he could to the table as he battles back from injury in his quest for a third world championship gold.
Warholm laid down a performance that is widely considered one of the greatest Olympic track performances of all time when he smashed the 29-year-old world record to win the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Games in a time of 45.94sec.
But the 26-year-old pulled up injured at the Diamond League meet in Rabat in early June with a “muscle fibre tear” in a hamstring, something he dubbed a “personal disaster” when talking to reporters Wednesday ahead of the world championships in Eugene, Oregon.
“The last five to six weeks have been close to hell,” said Warholm, who has been receiving treatment in Germany, combining work in the swimming pool with physiotherapy in his hope of being fit for Eugene.
“It’s been really challenging, you get this thing and you don’t know how each day will go.”
But his hopes remain high, however, the Norwegian saying: “We did some testing coming into this.
“I feel pretty safe to say that now we’re going in there, we’re going in at 100%.
“There’s no such thing as going into a championships and feeling just OK. I feel good to go and when I say good to go, that always means 100%.”
A lack of competitive outings was neither here nor there, Warholm said, reiterating that his first competitive outing in 2021 had seen him bag gold in a world record in Tokyo.
“Of course, you want to run some races to get some confidence, but on the other hand confidence is not my problem,” he said.
“It’s going to be challenging in the sense of I don’t know what I can bring to the table, but I know for sure that all training until the injury happened was very good.
“It’s not the ideal way to go into a championships obviously.”
Warholm added that his event, a lung-busting effort to clear 10 hurdles over one lap that demands techical mastery and physical prowess, was not for the faint-hearted.
“This is probably the hardest task I’ll ever take on in this part of my career,” he acknowledged.
“When you run you can’t compensate with anything, the 400m hurdles is 100%, there’s no compensating. I need to feel 100% here and I think I am, but time will show, I guess.”
Warholm will face stiff competition from the likes of American Rai Benjamin and Brazilian Alison dos Santos.
“They’re not going to give me any slack,” he said with a wry smile. “The level is very high at the moment, they’re running really fast times now.
“Hopefully I can come back in the mix and I’m really looking forward to it. This is what I love to do, I’m a very competitive person.
“If I’m on the line I want to be in the competition and be in the fight.”
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