(Reuters) – Olympic 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm concedes his incredible world record run in Tokyo left him feeling a little “empty” as he re-assessed his future goals in other events to stay motivated on the track.
The Norwegian sprinter won the Olympic final in 45.94, the first man in history to go sub-46 seconds, but amid his elation was also the feeling he had now reached his targets in the hurdles and looking to other events in the future.
“I had been so focused on the Olympics and when you achieve all those things you have been dreaming about, you get happy and empty as well. Everything you have been working towards and motivated for is over,” he told reporters ahead of the Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League on Wednesday.
“I have to get used to that and to keep on pushing. That is why I’m back trying to run again and in the future will try some different events because I always love to have a new challenge. It’s a mental process, you reach all your goals and you need to reboot the system.”
The former Decathlete has already run in the flat 400m since the Olympics, though he disappointed in Lausanne last month, and has spoken before of the triple jump and now the 800m.
“The hurdles will always be my main event, I love to do it and train for it, but the (flat) 400m will be a nice thing to do. I am not sure how fast I can go, but that is why we race, to find out,” he said.
“The last two or three years I have been racing to try and break the (400m hurdles world) record. Now I have it, I have to find new goals. I have been talking about it (800m) and in the future I would love to try it, though I’ve never finished the 400m thinking I would like to go another lap!
“My speed reserves would be an advantage, but I have tried running 600m and you hit the wall very quickly and are full of lactic (acid).
“But I’m always curious. I miss doing different events. I would like to try other things, though I’m always so scared of getting injuries.”
Warholm will race in the 400m hurdles in Zurich on Thursday.
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)