Sydney McLaughlin of the United States shattered the women’s 400 hurdles world record in her victory at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday (IST). Double Olympic champion McLaughlin timed 50.68 seconds in the race, bettering her own world mark of 51.41 seconds set at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships on the same track in June.
Dutch runner Femke Bol finished runners-up in 52.27, and McLaughlin’s compatriot Dalilah Muhammad took bronze in 53.13.
This is the fourth time in her amazing 400m hurdles career the 22-year-old has broken the world record. “It’s unreal,” McLaughlin was quoted as saying by World Athletics. “I just wanted to run and go for it.”
She shaved a whopping 0.73 seconds from her previous world record, set on the same track less than a month earlier, leaving her rivals — including two of the three fastest hurdlers the world has ever seen — shell-shocked with her pace.
This is the third world record that McLaughlin has set at Hayward Field. Her first came at the 2021 US Olympic Trials, when she clocked 51.90 to improve on the 52.16 global mark that Muhammad had achieved when winning the 2019 world title ahead of her compatriot, according to the website.
Just over a month later, McLaughlin ran 51.46 to win the Olympic title in Tokyo, and she broke the record for a third time at this year’s US Championships in Eugene on 25 June, clocking 51.41.
Since 2019, the world record has been improved by almost two seconds. That mark of 52.34 had stood for 16 years before Muhammad took it to 52.20 and then 52.16. On June 27 2021, McLaughlin began her reign. Now that previous world record mark of 52.34 is just 14th on the world all-time list.
“The time is absolutely amazing and the sport is getting faster and faster,” McLaughlin said of her performance on Saturday. “Just figuring out what barriers can be broken. I only get faster from here.
“I executed the race the way Bobby (Kersee, her coach) wanted me to. I knew coming home that if I just kept my cadence and stayed on stride pattern, we could do it and it happened. The level in the 400m hurdles is certainly improving. We have a full group of girls that are willing to push our bodies to the next level and we are seeing times drop.”
(Inputs from IANS)