US hurdler Sydney McLaughlin breaks world record to set up Tokyo Olympics blockbuster

Sydney McLaughlin has broken the women’s 400 metres hurdles world record with a time of 51.90 seconds at the US Olympic track and field trials.

McLaughlin became the first woman to run under the 52-second barrier, beating defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad’s previous mark of 52.16.

The 21-year-old is set for a showdown at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics against Muhammad, who finished second in 52.42 in the final at the US trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Should both McLaughlin and Muhammad qualify for the final in Tokyo, their rematch will take place on August 4 with the Olympic gold medal on the line.

“Truly just faith and trusting the process,” McLaughlin said when asked to explain her breakthrough.


McLaughlin made her Olympic debut in Rio as a 17-year-old, reaching the semi-finals.

She finished second to Muhammad at the 2019 world track and field championships in Doha, with the latter setting her world record of 52.16 to claim the gold.

Muhammad hinted at feeling fatigued following her loss to McLaughlin in Eugene but made note her focus was on defending her Olympic title in Tokyo.

“It was just such a long season coming,” Muhammad said.

Among other reigning world champions to book a berth on the US Olympic team was Noah Lyles.

Lyles, who won the men’s 200m at the Doha world titles, clocked 19.74 — the fastest time this year — to claim victory in the event at the US trials.


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