Two-time 400m hurdles world champion Karsten Warholm missed Kevin Young’s world record by 0.09 with his impressive 46.87 in Stockolm last August.
Karsten Warholm: “I feel in very good shape. Talking about a world record is good for our sport, and I talked about that with Armand Duplantis at the Berlin meeting. I am just a few hundredths of a second off the world record. Armand is just a few centimetres off the world outdoor record in the pole vault. We have very high expectations, but I don’t want to think too much about that, because there is the risk that I don’t achieve this goal. I am focused on doing my best to fulfil my potential. In the past two weeks I travelled a lot and took part in many competitions and I managed to train very well. I am running faster than last year. I want to thank the organizers of the Golden Gala and the other meetings because it is not easy to organize competititions in these conditions”.
Warholm aims at breaking the meeting record set by Abderrahmane Samba with 47.48 two years ago.
“It is possible to break the meeting record after the results I achieved this year. I am ready every time I step on the track”.
In the future Warholm aims at breaking European 400m record held by German Thomas Schoenlebe at the 1987 World Championships in Rome.
“At the moment I am more focused on doing my best in the 400m hurdles and I am preparing for this competition, but in the future I may prepare for the 400m flat distance”.
Pole vault world record holder Armand Duplantis is ready to take off in the Olympic Stadium, where Thierry Vigneron and Sergey Bubka set two world records in the same evening.
Armand Duplantis: “The expectations are very high. I feel the pressure. I faced the best jumpers in the world and I cannot underestimate them. The main goal is to win the competition. I feel in good shape. I am fascinated by Rome and every corner of the city would be perfect for a pole vault competition, especially the Colisseum. I love jumping outside the stadium because I feel the energy from the crowd. I try to take the best from each pole vault era. Bubka was the pioneer of pole vault. He revolutionized our sport. Few people expected that a human being would have managed to jump such big heights. Few thought that Renaud Lavillenie would have cleared 6.16m. He has a normal body. His results gave me the hope when I was 14 years old. Renaud showed how technique is important in pole vault”.
Scottish star Laura Muir will pursue a fast time in the women’s 800 metres.
Laura Muir: “I am looking forward to running tomorrow. I love the Olympic Stadium. It’s nice to compete here. Last year I ran very fast in the 1500m and I finished second with 3:57.63. Tomorrow I will run the 800m for the first time in this fabulous stadium. I expect a very fast race with a lot of competitive runners. I hope that a new world seasonal best will be set”.
Elaine Thompson Herah is aiming at winning in Rome for the third time in her career in the 100m. The double Olympic champion will run her first race outside Jamaica.
Elaine Thompson: “I want to thank the organizers because it is not easy to obtain the permission to travel. After three difficult years I have not been plagued by injuries and it is good to return to the top. I am looking forward to running tomorrow. My coaches will have a lot of work to plan my next season. It will be very important to stay injury-free. I will try to do my best to defend my olympic title”.