Ireland’s Thomas Barr has produced his best performance of the season in finishing second at the Bislett Games – as world champion Karsten Warholm sensationally smashed the long-standing European 400m hurdles record.
Barr clocked 49.11, beating by a full three-tenths-of-a-second his previous fastest time of the season of 49.41 set in Shanghai, where he had finished third.
The Waterford hurdler produced his trademark thunder down the closing straight to reel in Kyron McMaster of the Virgin Islands, who had been tilting at the front with Warholm for much of the race.
But Barr had enough in the tank to take the British Virgin Islander by a slender hundredth-of-a-second to take second spot, also his highest placing of the campaign.
In his four Diamond League outings to date in 2019, Barr has never finished lower than fourth.
As for Warholm, the Norwegian saved the run of his life for his home Oslo crowd – certainly, his fastest run at least.
The 23-year-old world and European champion stopped the clock at 47.33, beating his own 400m hurdles national record of 47.64 set in winning continental honours in Berlin last August.
It also smashed the 24-year-old record of 47.37 that was Stephane Diagana’s from the 1995 Athletissima in Lausanne.
World Championships silver-medallist last time around in London, Christian Coleman claimed a new world lead in the men’s 100m of 9.85 seconds, edging compatriot Noah Lyles’ 9.86 from Shanghai last month by a hundredth-of-a-second.
Despite Lyles deciding to skip the shorter distance at this year’s Worlds in Doha in October, a major rivalry has still kicked up between the American sprinters in the aftermath of Lyles’ impressive early-season performance.
Coleman is gunning for the 100-200 double, Lyles content to aim just at the longer sprint distance.
Though the packed Bislett Games audience didn’t see home hero Jakob Ingebrigtsen win the Dream Mile – no Norwegian has ever won it – they were treated to a dramatic finish in the showpiece blue riband event.
Pole Marcin Lewandowski, on his 32nd birthday, shot from fourth to first in the final strides to overtake Kenyan Vincent Kibet and Djiboti’s Ayanleh Souleiman on the line to record a stunning victory.
Lewandowski’s 3:52.34 is a world lead and new Polish record.
Ingebrigtsen was sixth, with brother Filip ninth.
A tremendous men’s 3000m saw the world lead set last Sunday by Abe Gashahun completely destroyed.
Fellow Ethiopian Selemon Barega produced a new lifetime best in edging out Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei in a time more than 18 seconds under Gashahun’s mark from last weekend – 7:32.17.
The top four finishers all produced lifetime bests at the non-Championship distance, including home Norwegian favourite Henrik Ingebrigtsen’s 7:36.85.
Ireland’s former European Championship fourth-placer Paul Robinson paced the encounter.
Dafne Schippers continued her impressive build-up towards Doha by claiming the women’s 200m in a season’s best 22.56.
Maria Lasitskene produced the best effort of the year to date in winning the women’s high jump, clearing 2.01 metres, edging past the 2.00m achieved by fellow Russian Anna Chicherova in Moscow at the weekend.
Lasitskene came close to successfully getting over the next height of 2.03m with her final attempt, but again knocked the bar.
A jump of 14.79 earned Colombia’s Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen victory in the women’s triple jump, and of course, another new world lead.
Norah Jeruto led home a Kenyan 1-2-3 in a 3000m Steeplechase WL of 9:03.71, as the previous holder Beatrice Chepkoech finished second, also inside her former standard set in Shanghai.
Fourth-placer Emma Coburn paid poignant tribute to former US 3000m champion Gabe Grunewald.
Coburn’s penned-in “Brave Like Gabe” on her race number marked the 32-year-old’s death following a long battle with cancer on Tuesday.