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When Sydney McLaughlin first stepped into the 400-meter hurdles starting blocks, she used to face opposition. That was not so long ago. But, then, she was aware that the likes of Dalilah Muhammad, a graceful runner with a long list of accomplishments, would present her with tough competition.
However, McLaughlin has elevated herself to a different level during the last few years. She has frequently broken world records and reduced her competitors, who are not weaklings, to mere background noise as she pushes the boundaries of what is thought to be achievable in her field.
Already the reigning Olympic gold medallist, McLaughlin won her first global title on Friday night by destroying a strong and distinguished field in 50.68 seconds and breaking the record for the fourth time in two years.
In order to win gold on Friday night at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, American runner Sydney McLaughlin shattered her own 400-meter hurdles world record. She sped up to 50.68 seconds, breaking her record of 51.41 seconds that she had established at the U.S. Championships earlier this month.
The Olympic champion smashed the 400-meter hurdles world record for the fourth time this calendar year. Femke Bol of the Netherlands and Dalilah Muhammad, a former world champion, finished second and third in 52.27 and 53.13 seconds, respectively, after McLaughlin outran her rivals to grab the early lead.
Sydney McLaughlin adds another milestone to her year
McLaughlin’s outstanding performance culminated in a year in which the American broke numerous records. Last summer, she recorded an astounding 400-meter hurdles time of 51.90 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer, according to the World Athletics website. Then, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, McLaughlin ran in 51.46 seconds to create a new world record and take home the gold.
McLaughlin set a record by finishing the 400-meter hurdle race in sub 51 seconds. McLaughlin’s only major conflict seems to be with the clock for the foreseeable future.
McLaughlin, who was a juvenile prodigy at Union Catholic High School and grew up in central New Jersey, is unquestionably the quickest woman ever to run the 400-meter hurdle. In 2021, at the American Olympic trials, McLaughlin broke Muhammad’s world mark; a few weeks later, when she won gold at the Tokyo Olympics, she shattered it once more. Muhammad came in second in each race.
When McLaughlin once again dropped the record last month at the U.S. Championships, she appeared quite unfazed. She ran 51.41 seconds. Muhammad, the defending champion with an automatic bid to the championships, decided not to compete.
McLaughlin was prepared for yet another outstanding performance leading up to the world championship final. In her semifinal heat on Wednesday, she destroyed the competition while slowing down a few meters from the finish line to win in 52.17 seconds—a time that three years ago would have set a world record.
McLaughlin stated that after the conclusion of the current campaign, she would talk about her choices with her coach, Bobby Kersee. She left the door open to participating in the 400 meters, the 100-meter hurdles, or a mix of events. Whatever the case, there are still more championships to win and records to shatter.