Karsten Warholm clears new hurdle to get to world track and field championships

Karsten Warholm
Getty
1 Comment

Karsten Warholm, the Olympic champion and world record holder in the 400m hurdles, called the five weeks since he suffered a small right hamstring muscle tear “a very intense ride.”

Warholm bids to become the first man or woman to win three consecutive world championships in the event in Eugene, Oregon, starting with heats July 16. But he also acknowledged the unknown.

He raced just once so far in 2022, and it wasn’t much of a race. He stopped after one hurdle at a Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco, on June 5.

Minutes afterward, he said it was probably a cramp. Turned out to be a tear — “quite small,” he said Friday — and he couldn’t do much for four or five days. Over the next month, the Norwegian took steps in recovery. From the pool to two different types of treadmills to the track. From flats to spikes. From clearing low hurdles to moving them up higher. He said “the damage is now healed.”

“I’ve really had to be smart and to do the right things and try not to get setbacks because I didn’t have time for that,” he said. “So it’s been difficult, but at the same time, also, it started a fire inside of me that I hope I will be able to use in Eugene, if my hamstring can take it.”

That if has Warholm wondering. To run the 400m hurdles at his level — breaking the world record twice last year, including taking it way down to 45.94 seconds in Tokyo — takes a special kind of exertion.

TRACK AND FIELD WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

“I think I’m in good shape, and all that work done before I got the injury, but for now, if my hamstrings can’t take the power that it takes to run, I have a big problem,” said Warholm, whose injured right leg is his trail leg when hurdling. “We go flat out when we run the finals. And that is where it becomes difficult, I think.

“I have been going, say, 96 percent [in training] and haven’t felt anything. So I don’t know what’s between there [and 100 percent]. And that is what I’m going to find out the days coming up to the championships, but I’m very focused on doing all the things right, because every day counts in the rehab. So that’s where we’re at right now.”

Warholm might not have the luxury to downshift and still win gold. American Rai Benjamin and Brazilian Alison dos Santos became the second- and third-fastest men in history in the epic Olympic final. This year, Benjamin has run 47.04 and dos Santos 46.80. Those times are far off Warholm’s world record, but outside of last year’s Olympic final, nobody has broken 46.70.

Reflecting after Tokyo, Warholm told himself that he would be satisfied with his career if that Olympic final was the peak at age 25.

“But, you know, I’m a greedy bastard,” he said. “I want more.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
Getty
0 Comments

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph (121 kph) in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

0 Comments

Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!