Warholm saves Norway's honour, Ingebrigtsen denied again

Norway's Karsten Warholm (C), British Virgin Islands' Kyron Mcmaster (L) and USA's Rai Benjamin race to the finish line in the men's 400m hurdles final. PHOTO/AFP 

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For Ingebrigtsen it was a case of Groundhog Day as he once again started favourite only to see a British runner pip him to the line.

Norway's Karsten Warholm produced a fighting performance to regain his 400m hurdles title but teammate Jakob Ingebrigtsen once again fell short in the 1500m on a pulsating night at the world championships on Wednesday.

Warholm declared "that is what we do best, us Vikings" after holding off the field to win his third world title.

The two women's finals were polar opposites of each other.

Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic finally secured her first global title in the 400m after settling for silver at the Tokyo Olympics and last year's world championships, timing a national record of 48.76sec. 

The pole vault, though, was a back and forth duel between Olympic champion Katie Moon of the United States and Australian Nina Kennedy.

In the end they shared a hug and the gold medal on a mark of 4.90m instead of holding a jump-off, echoing the men's high jump at the Tokyo Olympics when Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy agreed to share the honours.

'Back where it belongs'

In the 400m hurdles, Warholm pulled away down the finishing straight after being pressured by perennial rival Rai Benjamin on the final bend, to time 46.89sec.

Having won in London in 2017 and in Doha in 2019 he could only finish seventh in Eugene last year after returning from injury prematurely.

"I feel like the gold medal is back where it belongs," said Warholm.

"It feels a bit sweeter this year. I'm still hungry for more and more."

For Ingebrigtsen it was a case of Groundhog Day as he once again started favourite only to see a British runner pip him to the line.

This time though instead of Jake Wightman -- injured this year -- it was Josh Kerr who took gold.

Kerr stuck to the Norwegian and pounced coming round the bend. Ingebrigtsen battled but that Viking spirit was not enough to get his nose back in front. 

Ingebrigtsen looked close to tears and walked straight to the stands without a lap of honour.

He said he felt "a bit unlucky" and claimed he was not feeling at his best, casting doubt on his readiness to defend his 5,000m title.

"I had been on training camp for three, almost four months, with minimal social life and contact with the rest of the world," he said.

"But in the warm-up today and in the semi-final I was a little bit dry in my throat." 

Kerr, 25, had taken Olympic bronze and twice been a world finalist, but few tipped him for gold here.

"This is just reward for many years of hard work," he said. "I am extremely proud to be on top of the world."

'Oh my'

Kennedy, one of the champions from that remarkable women's pole vault, produced the performance of her life to turn world bronze last year into gold.

"I jumped out of my skin tonight," said the 26-year-old.

"I knew I could get on the podium -- a miracle could have been gold so I think a miracle happened tonight."

Moon was relieved in the end to share the title after battling so hard to defend her crown.

"When the final started I didn't think about sharing a gold medal would work for me but now I am completely satisfied," said the 32-year-old. "What a battle it was, oh my."

Paulino, 26, was ecstatic at finally striking gold in the one-lap event.

"The gold medal was my dream, and I had the talent to turn this dream into reality," she said.

Irishwoman Rhasidat Adeleke, who turns 21 next week, finished fourth in her first major final, marking her out as one to watch at next year's Olympics.

"This result gives me motivation to train even harder because in Paris I want a medal," she said.

Faith Kipyegon showed no sign of fatigue after her historic third 1500m gold on Wednesday as the Kenyan reached the 5000m final.

Kipyegon, who has set world records at three distances this year, cruised through her heat but 1500m bronze medallist Sifan Hassan fought back to edge her on the line to ensure her place in the final.

The pair's epic battle will be continued in Saturday's appetising final which also includes Ethiopia's already-crowned 10,000m champion Gudaf Tsegay.