Karsten Warholm headlined his own home-town meeting in Ulsteinvik, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Challenger meeting, with victory in the men’s 400m in a European-leading 45.31, the fifth fastest indoor time ever by a European athlete.
Norway’s 26-year-old Olympic 400m hurdles champion and world record holder ran 45.05 to win the European indoor 400m title in Glasgow four years ago, equalling the 1988 mark set by East Germany’s Thomas Schonlebe and now hopes are high that he will become the first European under the 45-second barrier over two laps of the indoor track.
In the Ulsteinhallen in a meeting that has endured a three-year hiatus because of the pandemic he made a hugely encouraging start to 2023 in which he will hope to regain the world title he lost last year.
Last season was seriously undermined by a hamstring injury in his first race, although he recovered to reach the world final before retaining his European title.
Yaroslava Mahuchikh, the 21-year-old Ukrainian who will seek to add a European indoor title to the world indoor version she won in Belgrade last year, won the women’s high jump with 1.99m – just a centimetre below her effort in the home venue of Lviv on January 14 which leads this year’s world list.
Bob Bertemes, Luxembourg’s Tokyo 2020 Olympian, won the men’s shot put in 21.06m, adding three centimetres to his national indoor record. Norway's 2017 European U20 champion Marcus Thomsen was second with 20.88m.
The women’s 1500m was won by home runner Amalie Saeten in a personal best of 4:17.46, with second place going to Great Britain’s world 3000m steeplechase finalist Aimee Pratt in 4:18.09, also a personal best.
Belgium’s Imke Vervaet won the women’s 200m in 23.65 from Poland’s Martyna Kotwila, who clocked a personal best of 23.66.