Paris (AFP) - Norwegian world champion Karsten Warholm has his sights set on breaking the 400 metre hurdles world record as he heads to Paris to compete in the Diamond League on Saturday.
The hurdles mark of 46.78sec, set by Kevin Young of the USA at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, is one of the oldest in the book.
Warholm, 23, Qatar's Abderrahman Samba and American Rai Benjamin are three athletes threatening to finally smash the record 27 years later as they battle to take the world title in Doha in late September.
In 2018 Paris meet, former world champion Samba became the second man to run the event in under 47 seconds, clocking 46.98.
Benjamin showed the world his talent when he ran 47.02 in the 400 hurdles at the 2018 NCAA championships. The time tied him with all-time great Ed Moses for the third-fastest 400 hurdles of all time.
Warholm, renowned for his exuberant post-race celebrations, broke the European record in front of his home fans at the Oslo Diamond League this June in 47.33sec.
He improved it to 47.12 in London last month, on the track where he burst onto the scene by taking the world title in 2017.
Warholm told the IAAF's Spikes magazine: "It doesn't matter if it's a PB or a bad race, whatever, I always analyse it, and I always try to find new ways to make it better."
The Norwegian attributes much of his success in recent years to his unconventional coach of four years, Leif Olav Alnes. In an interview featuring photos of Warholm taking a tied-up Alnes hostage with a water pistol, he said: "We mock each other, we have a lot of fun together, and we share the same humour."
He added: "For me it was a perfect match... I really appreciate the honesty... tough love is the perfect way to describe our relationship."