Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone at the USATF Outdoor Championships

MONACO (July 21) — American Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the world leader in the women’s 400m, was a late withdrawal from Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Monaco due to a knee injury. The race was consequently won by Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek in a time of 49.63 seconds.

Why did Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Pull out of Monaco Diamond League?

McLaughlin-Levrone, who dominates with a season-best of 48.74 seconds set at the 2023 USATF Outdoor Championships earlier this month, was slated for her second Diamond League outing of the season, following her Paris appearance in June.

However, the 23-year-old Olympic and World Champion was advised against competing in Monaco by her medical team due to a knee issue, as communicated by the organizers.

The champion hurdler made headlines when she stormed to Olympic gold in the 400m hurdles in Tokyo before clinching a world gold last year in Eugene with a time of 50.68 seconds. This season, she has chosen to focus on the 400m flat event, climaxing with the world championships in Budapest, scheduled for August 19-27.

Natalia Kaczmarek continues good form

Meanwhile, in McLaughlin-Levrone’s absence, the Monaco Diamond League’s women’s 400m was claimed by Kaczmarek. The Polish runner showed her strength with a powerful surge in the final meters, clocking 49.63 seconds and overtaking USA’s Shamier Little.

“This victory is a really good sign for me before the World Championships in Budapest,” Kaczmarek said. “It shows me that I can keep myself in the front position and to be able to fight with the strong runners like I did today.

“Of course, I was sad that Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone was not running, but it would be definitely harder to fight for the victory. But on the other hand, I would love to have one more strong opponent in the field.”

She added: “My main target for Budapest is the final, and then I am ready for anything. The heat does not bother me because we also had a very hot weather in Chorzow, so I am getting used to it.”

Little put up a valiant fight and achieved a personal best of 49.68 seconds, securing second place. Dutch sprinter Lieke Klaver and Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke, the national record holder and NCAA champion, both finished with identical times of 49.99 seconds, placing third and fourth, respectively.

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