Sydney McLaughlin does not race often, but she produces memorable performances whenever she does step on the track. Running a sizzling world record of 51.41* in the women’s 400m hurdles on a hot afternoon at the US Championships on Saturday (25), McLaughlin has now set world records in three of her past four 400m hurdles finals.
Clearing the hurdles effortlessly and with no one pressing her, McLaughlin broke her own record of 51.46 from the Tokyo Olympics, where she captured the gold medal. McLaughlin set her first world record of 51.90 on this same track, Hayward Field in Eugene, during last year’s US Olympic Trials and will return here next month for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
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“I knew it was going to be fast,” McLaughlin said. “I looked at the time and I was really happy with it – being able to slowly progress towards lower and lower times – and I think there’s still things I could work on. I think there’s a little bit more in the tank there, so hopefully when it’s time we can just empty it completely.”
McLaughlin had a lead of about six metres entering the home straight and that margin had grown significantly by the time she reached the finish. NCAA champion Britton Wilson ran a PB of 53.08 for second and Shamier Little, the 2015 world silver medallist who missed the US Olympic team last year by one spot, was third with a season’s best of 53.92.
McLaughlin was the world silver medallist in 2019 behind former world record-holder Dalilah Muhammad, who has a wildcard entry to the World Championships as defending champion and did not compete at the US Championships.
They will likely face off next month, where McLaughlin said, “we want to put on a show for the world.”