Surprise winners in the rain at the World Athletics Championships

There were plenty of thrills on the track in London on Wednesday night

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Surprise winners in the rain at the World Athletics Championships

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He seemed more surprised than anyone!

Karsten Warholm led from the start to win the 400 metres hurdles title in the pouring rain in London on Wednesday, to become Norway’s first world track champion for 30 years.

The 21-year-old former decathlete demonstrated all the strength he has acquired from competing in the multi-event discipline as he led from the first hurdle and held off his pursuers on the home straight to win in 48.35 seconds.

Still effectively a novice in this event, the youngster clasped his face in disbelief as it dawned that he had beaten Turkey’s European champion Yasmani Copello into the silver medal position.

Warholm also spoiled Olympic champion and favourite Kerron Clement’s dream of becoming the first man to win three world titles at the discipline as the 31-year-old American had to settle for bronze.

“I was really happy of course and now my biggest task in the future is to just stay humble and work hard,” Warholm said afterwards.

“Today, I felt like I had the chance and I tried to grab it and it went all the way.”

Another winner on a rainy night was American Phyllis Francis who secured a surprise 400 metres gold after Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas inexplicably stumbled when seemingly certain of victory.

Francis looked out of the medals with 80 metres to go and even after crossing the line, she had no idea she had won.

“I have been in this sport for three years professionally so far and to have an individual medal underneath my belt is just such an amazing feeling so I am proud,” she said, having posted a personal best time of 49.92 seconds.

Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser, 19, claimed silver while defending champion Allyson Felix of the United States faded to get bronze.

That took Felix’s world championship medal haul to 14, matching the record of Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Merlene Ottey.

The American’s tally includes nine golds and she could not disguise her frustration at not making it 10 – though she still has the 4×400m relay to come.

“I can’t lie, I’m disappointed to lose one gold tonight but the championships is not over yet so we keep going,” Felix said.

China’s Gong Lijiao ended her long wait for a global outdoor title when she won the shot put, utterly dominating the competition.

Having won silver and bronze medals in the past at the World Championships and Olympics, the gold had always eluded the 28-year-old – until now.

with Reuters