Three men, three countries and 46 seconds. That's all it took Tuesday morning in Tokyo for the men's 400-meter hurdles final to set the Olympics ablaze.
What happened: Norway's Karsten Warholm, just one month removed from breaking a 29-year-old world record, rewrote history with one of the most jaw-dropping races in human history.
- Warholm won gold with a mind-boggling time of 45.94 seconds, obliterating his month-old record (46.70). He ran faster than 18 of the 48 men who raced in the regular 400-meter dash (!!!).
- American Rai Benjamin won silver, with his 46.17 besting the previous world record by more than half a second.
- Brazil's Alison dos Santos won bronze and ran the fourth-fastest time ever recorded (46.72).
- Watch the race.
What they're saying: "That was the best race in Olympic history. I don't even think Usain Bolt's 9.5 topped that," said Benjamin.[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fvk2K6B-oJuJj_iAYW6SJXt4sNcs%3D%2F2021%2F08%2F03%2F1627991069465.jpg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.axios.com&s=898&h=b23c074327dad162ac0a20ab092eb139891304e2cfa8d6416faa555e0f8aa139&size=980x&c=3371795439 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fvk2K6B-oJuJj_iAYW6SJXt4sNcs%253D%252F2021%252F08%252F03%252F1627991069465.jpg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fimages.axios.com%26s%3D898%26h%3Db23c074327dad162ac0a20ab092eb139891304e2cfa8d6416faa555e0f8aa139%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3371795439%22%7D" expand=1]
The big picture: The men's 100-meter final has been a marquee event for nearly a century; its champions some of the Games' biggest stars.
- None of those stars shined brighter than Bolt, and in his first absence since 2004 — despite a phenomenal race by Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs — the 100 lacked its typical electricity and buzz.
- That left the door open for another event to fill the void, and the 400-meter hurdles delivered. Warholm is 25, Benjamin is 24 and Dos Santos is 21. Will they run it back in Paris?
Coming up: Tonight's women's 400-meter hurdles (10:30pm ET) features some serious American firepower.
- Dalilah Muhammad, 31, is the reigning Olympic champion. In 2019, she broke a 16-year-old world record; two months later, she broke it again.
- Sydney McLaughlin, 21, broke Muhammad's record in June at trials, overtaking the veteran down the final straightaway.