TOKYO, Japan — All three medal contenders, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad, and Femke Bol won their respective semifinal heats and did it with consummate ease as well, in advancing to the much-anticipated dream women’s 400m hurdles final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Monday.
The trio entered the Games as the frontrunners to win the event and all did their parts in the pouring rain to help carve out the potential of the fastest women’s 400m hurdles race of all time.
McLaughlin, the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials winner and world record holder, ran a comfortable 53.03 seconds to qualify as the fastest runner from the three semifinals.
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The American pulled with her Gianna Woodruff who went on to set a new Panama national record of 54.22s in second place, while European bronze medalist Anna Ryzhykova of Ukraine also advanced from the heat on time.
Woodruff becomes the first Panamanian woman to make an Olympic final in athletics and the 2017 South American champion will be hoping to build on that success as she targets another PB in the final.
Dalilah Muhammad Primed For Something Special
Reigning Olympic champion Muhammad showed that she too is in top form when easing to 53.30s to take semifinal one.
The American finished ahead of Jamaica’s Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell of Jamaica who clocked 54.10s for second place and entered the final with the fourth-fastest time overall.
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Paulien Couckuyt set a Belgium national record of 54.47s for third in the heat, but failed to advance, while Canada’s Sage Watson finished fifth in 55.51s.
Dutch and European gold medal hopeful, Bol, recorded 53.91s on an easy stroll to round out the semifinal heat winners, while Anna Cockrell made sure that all three American entrants advanced to the final after she powered her way into an automatic qualifying spot with a time of 54.17s to finish behind the winner.
Meanwhile, after a long and emotional wait, Viktoriya Tkachuk of Ukraine joined her compatriot Ryzhykova in the final after she posted 54.25s for third in the semis.
The final of the women’s 400m hurdles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place on Wednesday.
Click here for a summary of the women’s 400m hurdles semifinal result.