Moses: I would have matched Warholm's record with today's technology

By Sports Desk August 19, 2021

Former hurdles star Edwin Moses believes he would have matched Karsten Warholm's world record time at the Tokyo Olympics had the same technology been available to him during his time on top.

One of the more remarkable moments of the 2020 Games was Warholm's victory in the men's 400 metre hurdles, the Norwegian knocking a huge 0.76 seconds off his record pace of 46.70s.

Warholm was not alone in setting a new Games best at this year's showpiece, with the United States' Sydney McLaughlin also doing so in the women's equivalent with a time of 51.46s.

That has prompted some concerns over the design of the Tokyo track, which is said to have given athletes a one to two per cent performance advantage compared to previous years.

The track technology, footwear and indeed training has come a long way since Moses dominated the men's 400m hurdles between 1977 and 1987 when winning 107 successive finals, during which time he set four world records in the sport.

And two-time Olympic gold medallist Moses, whose fastest time was clocked at 47.02s, has told Stats Perform that he could have held his own against today's crop if the playing field was level.

"I would like to think I could," he said. "When I ran 47.02 I had no competition, no one else was running under 49. It was very, very different," he said.

"I was reading an article recently about the track and technology and they built in a two per cent increase in performance. 

"It changes things. It makes it very difficult to look back at Kevin Young or mine that had no assist. With tracks and shoes it becomes a statistically significant difference. 

"If Kevin Young was running on that then he'd have had run 45.86, my 47.02 would have been a 46.08. 

"I wish I had the opportunity to run on that track and to have that competition. I was way out in front of everyone else. The track has been programmed for speed. They've changed the paradigm."

 

This year's Olympic men's 400m hurdle final was labelled arguably the greatest ever, with USA's Rai Benjamin hot on Warholm's heels to win silver having also beat the previous world record.

Brazil's Alison dos Santos took the bronze medal with a time of 46.72s, meaning three of the top four fastest times ever posted in the event were set in Tokyo.

"I thought it was a very good race," Moses said. "Rai Benjamin made a couple of errors that probably cost him. Warholm made no mistakes. It always comes down to who makes the least. 

"The race could have gone either way. Benjamin could have won by a metre.

"Not many races have come down to the wire like that, especially in a dramatic race like the hurdles. It was a great race, as was the women's."

Warholm may remain the world's best in his discipline, but Moses has tipped compatriot Benjamin to potentially set another world record time in the near future.

"It's possible," he said. "I think Rai could beat the world record this summer. He was still competitive even with those mistakes. Even second placed smashed the record."

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