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Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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 ever.

  • 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.

Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Go deeper

Aug 28, 2021 - Sports

American swimmer Jessica Long wins 25th career Paralympics gold medal

American gold medalist Jessica Long during the medal ceremony after winning the Women's 200m individual medley SM8 final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Saturday. Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

American swimmer Jessica Long has won her 25th Paralympic gold medal —triumphing in the 200-meter individual medley SM8 at the Tokyo Games on Saturday.

The big picture: The win marks the bi-lateral amputee's fourth-straight Paralympic Games gold medal in her signature event. Long was 12 years old when she won her first three Paralympic golds, at the 2004 Athens Games.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

China vows end to building coal-fired power plants abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Mary Altaffer - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that his country "will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad" and plans to boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Why it matters: The pledge, if maintained, would mark a breakthrough in efforts to transition global power away from the most carbon-emitting fuel.

House Democrats strip Iron Dome money from government funding bill

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats on Tuesday stripped $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome defense system from its short-term government funding bill after backlash from progressives, people familiar with the decision tell Axios.

Why it matters: There has never a situation where military aid for Israel was held up because of objections from members of Congress. While the funding will get a vote in its current defense bill, the clash underscores the deep divisions within the Democratic party over Israel.