USA's Rai Benjamin scored a rare victory over Karsten Warholm in the Diamond League season finale in Eugene on Saturday
Eugene (United States) (AFP) - American Rai Benjamin stunned world and Olympic champion Karsten Warholm Saturday, clocking a Diamond League record 46.39 to win the 400m hurdles in the season finale in Eugene, Oregon.
Benjamin, disappointed with a bronze medal at the World Championships in Budapest in August, notched the fourth-fastest time in history, running down the world record-holder from Norway, who had powered to the front at the fourth hurdle.
Benjamin closed the gap over the final two hurdles and surged past in the final strides as Warholm, who had set the world’s best time of 46.51 in Monaco in July, finished second in 46.53sec.
Benjamin revealed afterwards that a decision to revert to his old race strategy had paid dividends.
“Being a sprinter, that’s what I am. Went back to my old race model, because my second half is just amazing. Just tried to channel that today and I feel like I did a really good job,” he said. “I came out here with no expectation, just to have fun and close out the season.”
Benjamin, who finished second behind Warholm at the 2019 World Championships and 2021 Tokyo Olympics, added that he remains motivated by finally beating the Norwegian to a major title.
“I’m not really too caught up in this win,” Benjamin said. “What matters is winning at major championships and I haven’t done that yet so I need to do that.”
World silver medallist Kyron McMaster of British Virgin Islands was third in 47.31 while Alison dos Santos was fourth in 47.44.