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‘Disrespectful’: Warholm Condemns on-track Environmental Protest in Sweden

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Norway’s Karsten Warholm won the men’s 400m hurdles at Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Stockholm after the race was disrupted by an environmental protest.

Three protesters from A22 Network knelt on the track about 10m from the finish line and stretched a banner across six lanes, forcing most of the field to run through it.

Warholm, running out in lane eight, was not affected but strongly criticised the protest afterwards. “It is permissible to protest, but this is not the way to do it,” Warholm told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “It is disrespectful to those who are here to do a good job. I must honestly admit that I’m pissed off.”

After crossing the finish line, Warholm appeared to turn around and join in with the crowd booing the protest.

The 27-year-old ran blind in the outside lane en route to a time of 47.57sec. While he was a way off his world record of 45.94 – set at the Tokyo Olympics – two victories in two races bodes well for August’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

It was not a day for records with driving rain and low temperatures playing spoiler. The weather wreaked havoc with numerous events, including the much-anticipated men’s pole vault featuring the local hero Armand Duplantis, which was delayed by more than two hours due to safety concerns.

With every other event long since completed, the Olympic and world champion cleared 6.05m on his first attempt to win the event. He then missed on three attempts at 6.23m, which would have topped his world record of 6.22m.

In the women’s 200m, Daryll Neita outshone her compatriot Dina Asher-Smith to claim victory in a British battle. Neita ran a superb bend from lane seven to take first place in a time of 22.50sec, with Asher-Smith second in 22.58. Neita’s first individual triumph in Diamond League competition continues an intriguing rivalry, heading into next week’s British Championships in Manchester.

In the women’s 800m, Britain’s Laura Muir was forced to settle for sixth, one place behind her compatriot Melissa Courtney-Bryant. In the men’s 100m, Reece Prescod recorded a time of 10.14sec to take second behind the clear winner, Akani Simbine of South Africa, who ran 10.03.

In the discus, Sweden’s Daniel Stahl hit an official in the shoulder with one throw. Broadcasters said the official was unhurt. Stahl finished second, with Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia winning with a 69.83m throw despite the slick throwing circle.

Freweyni Hailu led a trio of Ethiopians who claimed the top three spots in the women’s 1,500m, surging into the lead with half a lap remaining. Kenyan Beatrice Chebet won a tactical women’s 5,000m, breaking away on the final lap to clock a season-best time of 14min 36.52sec.

Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, the Olympic champion, won the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, beginning his celebrations with 50m remaining. El Bakkali is on course for a thrilling battle at the worlds with Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma, who broke the world record last month in Paris.

Source : The Guardian

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