The fresh, 400 metres hurdles world champion, Karsten Warholm, got to sit in the cockpit of the plane that brought him home, and was received with flag waving, and rowdy applause when he returned to Norway on Friday evening.
Warholm became the world champion on Wednesday with a time of 48.35 over the 400 metre hurdle distance. His winning margin was 14 hundredths of a second.
It was Norway’s first World Championship gold for a male track runner, ever.
On Friday, he landed at Gardermoen almost 48 hours after winning Norway’s historic 8th World Championship gold medal, and was met by fans, friends, and a large contingent of press.
‘It’s always good to come home to Norway, the air is a bit better here’, was the first thing Warholm said to the press at the airport.
‘It’s always nice to be met at the airport,’ he added.
Didn’t go to his head
It has been a non-stop roller-coaster ride of press interviews, medal ceremonies, and congratulations for the 21 year old since he won the gold medal.
‘It’s been sleepless and very fun. Of course, you have to enjoy the moment. It doesn’t happen too often.We are enjoying ourselves’, said Warholm.
The boy from Ulsteinvik hasn’t yet fully taken in that he is world champion.
‘It must start to sink in at least, but I need some more time. I don’t know. Perhaps is is how it feels. There’ll be time to see’, he smiled.
The first thing that happened after landing at Gardermoen was for the plane to drive under the sprays of two water guns that were set up to commemorate Warholm’s historic victory.
‘It was very special. I got to sit in the cockpit too, so it was very cool. Apparently, this is just the way retirees feel, so I don’t know how to interpret it, but that’s fine, and I appreciate that it’s recognised as it is. That’s motivation for me.’
He also showed the gold medal to those who came to meet him at the airport.
‘It’s quite nice. I never get enough of it’.
Next on the agenda for the gold medallist is to go home and relax before starting serious preparation for the Diamond League finals.
‘That will be next. There will probably be a lot of revved-up people so I have to be super-fit. I’m excited about it’, concluded Warholm.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today