Sydney McLaughlin wins 400m hurdles heat at the 2022 USATF Outdoor Championships

EUGENE, Oregon (June 23) —— Watch the video highlights of Sydney McLaughlin comfortably advancing to the 400m hurdles semis at the 2022 USA Outdoor Championships, clocking 54.11 seconds to win her heat here at Hayward Field on Thursday

McLaughlin, the Olympic champion and world record holder in the event, got off to an aggressive start to build a comfortable lead entering the home straight before gearing down and cruising home for the win.

The Tokyo Olympic champion who owns the world record with a time of 51.46 seconds, is the world leader in the event with 51.61 and she said the first-round contest provided her with the opportunity just see where she was in her fitness.

“It was a good race just to see where my fitness is [since] I haven’t raced in two weeks,” said McLaughlin.

“My coach wanted me to just go out there and feel it so I think we are in a good place coming back for tomorrow,” she added.

READ MORE: Sha’Carri Richardson OUT of USA Championships after finishing 5th in heat

Shamier Little, who just missed qualifying for the Olympics last summer, advanced to the semi-finals on Day 1 after winning her heat with the second-fastest time at 55.50 secs.

SEC and NCAA champion Britton Wilson was also impressive when winning her section with a time of 55.79 to advance with the third-best time heading into the next round of the event on Friday.

Masai Russell of Kentucky was the other heat winner, clocking 56.51 for first place in the second section to defeat Deonca Bookman (57.41) and Jessica Wright (57.56).

Reigning world champion Dalilah Muhammad missed the event with a hamstring injury, but has been given the green light by the USATF to accept her wild card selection, despite not being able to compete at the trials.

Olympic finalist Anna Cockrell advanced to the semis with a time of 56.42 after finishing second to Wilson in heat four, while Ashley Spencer (55.79), Cassandra Tate (55.89), Shannon Meisberger (55.95), Kaila Barber (56.00) and Lauren Hoffman (56.08) also advanced.

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