EUGENE, Ore. — World silver medalist Sydney McLaughlin smashed the 400m hurdles world record on her way to topping the previous world record holder and reigning Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday.
After waiting for about five hours for what was the most highly-anticipated matchups of the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday night, following the delay of the championships because of the high temperatures inside the stadium, McLaughlin returns to clocked 51.90 seconds to become the first woman to ever break 52-seconds in the 400m hurdles.
“It’s truly just faith and trusting the process. Truly it’s just a gift from God,” McLaughlin told NBCSN in reference to her record-breaking run.
“So many amazing women have come before me. So many amazing women will come after me. I just want to be able to leave my mark, and be a part of such an amazing sport.”
The 21-year-old entered the home stretch in second place, but powered past Muhammad down the final straightaway to smash the previous world record of 52.16s.
“A lot of people didn’t understand, because they didn’t see where it was translating to in our practices for the 400 hurdles,” McLaughlin added. “I kind of knew right away it was making sense. And as time progressed and the strength started to build, it definitely reflected that we could get to this point.”
Muhammad, the Olympic and world champion, finished second in a season’s best of 52.42s after returning to form following an injury-hampered season.
Meanwhile, NCAA champion Anna Cockrell finished third in a new personal best of 53.70 to round out the U.S. team in the event.
Shamier Little who was a leading contender for a place on the team, hit the last hurdle coming off the bend and struggled to regain control in the final 100m. She ended the race in fourth with a time of 53.85.