Olympic champ boos protesters who disrupted Diamond League race: ‘This is not the way to do it’

Karsten Warholm, an Olympic gold medalist for Norway, had no patience for environment protesters who disrupted the 400-meter hurdles race on Sunday at the Diamond League in Sweden.

Warholm won the race on Sunday and then turned to join the crowd booing the protesters. Three people knelt on the track a few meters from the finish line holding two banners that spanned from lanes one to six. A few runners broke through them and no athlete appeared to be injured.

Karsten Warholm in the hurdles

Norway’s Karsten Warholm in action during the men’s 400-meter hurdles during the Diamond League in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday, July 2, 2023. (Fredrik Persson/TT News Agency via AP)

Warholm had no banner across his path as he was in lane eight but seemed distracted as a fourth protester was in lane seven to take pictures of the ordeal. He appeared to be angry with the protesters as they were led away by security.

“It is permissible to protest, but this is not the way to do it,” he told Norway’s broadcaster NRK, via Reuters. “It is disrespectful to those who are here to do a good job.


Protesters block off the lanes

Environmental activists stage a protest to disrupt the men’s 400-meter hurdles during the Diamond League on July 2, 2023. (Fredrik Persson/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

“I must honestly admit that I’m p—– off.”

The decorated runner finished at 47.57 seconds in the race. He set a world record at the Tokyo Olympics with a time of 45.94 seconds.

Protester escorted off the track

An environmental activist is led off the track after disrupting the men’s 400-meter hurdles at the Stockholm Stadium on July 2, 2023. (Fredrik Persson/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

The 27-year-old is one of the top hurdlers in the world. He’s won two gold medals at the World Championships as well as two gold medals each in the European Championships and the European Indoor Championships.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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