At the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships on Wednesday night, Karsten Warholm of Norway and Femke Bol of the Netherlands successfully defended their European 400m hurdles crowns with an amazing display of athleticism. With Warholm finishing in 46.98 seconds and Bol in 52.49 seconds, both athletes set new championship records.

Warholm, 28, claimed his third consecutive European title by establishing an early lead and maintaining his dominance throughout the race. Despite a strong challenge from Italy’s Alessandro Sibilio, who finished with a national record of 47.50 seconds, Warholm’s powerful performance secured his victory. Sweden’s Carl Bengstrom earned the bronze with a national record of 47.94 seconds, while Estonia’s Rasmus Magi came in fourth with a season-best of 48.13 seconds.

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“Every time I step on the track, my goal is to win,” Warholm stated. “Sibilio ran an excellent race today. The Italian athletes have been performing well this season, so I knew I had to give my best. Competing here was fantastic, and the crowd’s energy was incredible.”

Sibilio, reflecting on his achievement, said, “This race was unbelievable. After struggling with injuries for the past two years, winning a silver medal and setting a national record feels like a dream. It’s amazing to have come second to Warholm, who is an idol to me.”

For Warholm, this victory is a crucial step as he prepares for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where his primary competitors, Alison dos Santos of Brazil and Rai Benjamin of the United States, have posted faster times this season.

In the women’s 400m hurdles, Femke Bol dominated her race, setting a new championship record of 52.49 seconds. This time surpassed the previous record of 52.67 seconds, which she set in Munich two years ago, and also beat the world lead time of 52.70 seconds set by her rival, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone.

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France’s Louise Maraval took silver with a personal best of 54.23 seconds, while Bol’s teammate Cathelijn Peeters claimed bronze with 54.37 seconds. Bol’s strategic decision to focus on the hurdles rather than the 400m flat, which she won in Munich 2022, has paid off as she aims for another gold in the women’s 4x400m relay after winning bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay.

 

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 “I’m thrilled with my win and with Peeters’ third place,” Bol said. “You can never take anything for granted, so I stayed focused. The atmosphere here is incredible; it gives me chills. I love this track and stadium. I’ve worked hard for these championships, and I believe I can be even better at the Olympics.”

The final event of the night, the women’s 200m, saw Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji defend her title with a season’s best of 22.49 seconds. She narrowly defeated Britain’s Darryl Neita, who took silver with a season’s best of 22.50 seconds. France’s Helene Parisot won bronze with a personal best of 22.63 seconds, and Norway’s Henriette Jaeger finished fourth in 22.83 seconds.

“I knew the race would be close,” Kambundji said. “Daryll is in great form. I focused on running my best, and it paid off. I’m overjoyed to defend my title. I stayed calm before the race, which gave me confidence.”

The Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships continue to highlight outstanding performances and set the stage for the upcoming Olympic season.