Rasmus Mägi has reached the final of the 400 meter hurdles at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. For Mägi, who represented Estonia in both the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2022 Olympic finals, this will be his first appearance in the final of a World Championship.
Mägi, 30, who was born in Tartu, finished third in the second semi-final of the competition with a time of 48.40 seconds, behind Brazil's Alison dos Santos in first (47.85 seconds) and Trevor Bassitt of the USA in second (48.17 seconds).
"I can't say that I was sure I would get third place…, but the time was still fast enough," said Mägi after the race.
"I ran into the first hurdle a bit, I think it moved. And, on the back bend, I forgot a few things I had been thinking about before. Maybe (it was) a bit harder and bumpier than in the preliminary (round), but there's not much point dwelling on that, now I need to be in better shape for Tuesday (early Wednesday morning Estonian time - ed)."
"In the final, you just have to run unselfishly, that's all there is," added Mägi.
Karsten Warholm of Norway, who shrugged off injury doubts to win the third semi-final in 48.00 seconds. Warholm finished ahead of Frenchman Wilfried Happio, who ran a personal best of 48.14 seconds to finish second. American Khallifah Rosser was third in 48.34 seconds. Mägi will be up against all three in the final.
The first semi-final was won by Olympic silver medalist Rai Benjamin of the USA in 48.44 seconds. Jamaica's Jaheel Hyde finished second in 49.09 seconds to also make the final, while third placed Julien Watrin of Belgium missed out, ending the round as the ninth fastest semi-finalist.
The final of the men's 400m hurdles from Eugene, Oregon takes place on Wednesday, July 20 at 5.50am Estonian time.
Editor: Michael Cole