(Sports news) Sydney McLaughlin produced an astonishing performance as she broke her own world record by almost three-quarters of a second to take women’s 400m hurdles gold at the World Championships. The 22-year-old American created a world record when she came home in 50.68 seconds, smashing her own previous record of 51.41 seconds which she set in June. Femke Bol of the the Netherlands' who won bronze at last year's Tokyo Olympics, took silver in 52.27, ahead of the previous record holder Dalilah Muhammad the USA
Dalilah Muhammad held the world record after breaking it twice in 2019 after she ran 52.16 to beat McLaughlin to gold at the last world championships in Doha. McLaughlin since then has dominated this event, improving that mark four times in the past 13 months, and has now run five of the six fastest times in history. The funny thing is that her winning time was faster than the seventh and eighth-placed times in the women's flat 400m final, which took place half an hour earlier on the same track. The 400-hurdles record of 52.34 which was held by Yuliya Pechonkina of Russia and had sat on the books for 16 years when Muhammad lowered it to 52.20 at U.S. championships in Iowa in 2019.
Muhammad's coach Boogie Johnson said that he had thought that the Russian's record seemed "a little soft" as Muhammad then again broke with time of 52.16, at world championships in 2019. That was a race McLaughlin only lost by a mere 0.07 but that was her changing point in her as she set about making changes. Since connecting with current coach Bobby Kersee, she broke the world record at last year's Olympic trials with a timing of 51.90,then in the Olympics she ran 51.46 and nationals last month (51.41). Now, this is a 1.4% improvement on a four-week-old record and she became the first woman into times in the 50s.
"The time is absolutely amazing and the sport is getting faster and faster, I only get faster from here. The last 100 really hurt, but I'm grateful to have this crowd, It was absolutely unreal to have my family in the stands. I have never had them together in one place."
She added by saying “It means a lot that she also broke the 51-second barrier. It is unbelievable but it is amazing to be a part of it and to come out second in such a race."
McLaughlin hinted once again that she may switch events, with a change to the 400m flat looking most likely. "Me and [coach Bobby Kersee] are going to go back after the season, decide if this is still an event I even want to do, or if we're going to find something else because we've accomplished so much in it,"
Second-placed Bol said it was surreal to see McLaughlin's pace at first hand. It was crazy, she was so far in front at the end so I was always doubting if I really had a good race because it felt very good.