She’s worked hard for this moment!
Sydney McLaughlin dominated in the 400m hurdles, breaking the world record at Olympic Trials, NBC Sports reports.
In 2019, McLaughlin was considered the second-fastest woman globally, finishing second at the 2019 World Championships with a time of 52.23 seconds. At the age of 17, she competed in Rio, making history as the youngest American to compete in track and field at an Olympics since 1972. Unfortunately, a common cold got her eliminated in the semifinals. Now, she’s back with something to prove!
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During the recent 400m hurdles at Trials, McLaughlin shattered the world record, clocking in at 51.90 seconds and replacing former record holder Dalilah Muhammad as the one predicted to win a gold medal. Muhammad’s previous record was 52.16 during the 2019 World Championships, where McLaughlin had previously come in second.
“I will cherish this for the rest of my life,” she told reporters after her history-making win.
Back in February, McLaughlin announced that she would be changing coaches, choosing Bobby Kersee, the husband of Jackie Joyner-Kersee, to train her. Not only did Kersee train his wife, but he also taught legendary track star Florence Griffith Joyner, as well as Allyson Felix, who he’s been training since 2005.
The change worked; McLaughlin training very differently this time around, focusing on completing five 100m hurdles races three weeks before her first 400m hurdles at Olympic Trials.
“It’s truly just faith and trusting the process. I’m really happy I chose to go with [Kersee],” McLaughlin said.
When she crossed the finish line, noting her win, McLaughlin was visibly taken aback, crouching and covering her mouth with her hand. Muhammad was the first athlete to shake her hand and hug her.
Muhammad had a rough year, dealing with a COVID infection and a hamstring injury. She felt her training this year got pushed back so much that she considered making Trials her first meet of the season. Nonetheless, she’s grateful to still qualify for the Olympic team and admits that she knew McLaughlin would break the world record.
“Makes it exciting for fans, but nerve-racking for me. I think there’s more in store for me, and Tokyo will be good for me,” Muhammad said.
McLaughlin asserted that regardless of whose first they all are working together, which is most important.
“There’s no animosity or hard feelings. We have to have each other to have these world records,” she said.
Congratulations, Sydney! See you in Tokyo!
Photo Courtesy of Sydney McLaughlin/@sydneymclaughlin16