American McLaughlin breaks world record to win women’s 400 hurdles

    Sydney McLaughlin of the United States in action at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Reuters

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    Sydney McLaughlin of the United States in action at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Reuters

    Sydney McLaughlin broke her own 400m hurdles world record and won gold in 51.46 seconds on Wednesday, beating American Dalilah Muhammad in an exciting final at the Tokyo Olympics that met all expectations.

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    The 21-year-old stumbled to the penultimate barrier and followed Mohammed who came out of the last hurdle, but took the sprint to the line to cross first and beat her previous record of 51.90 in the US tests in June.

    Mohammed, the world champion of the 2019 and 2016 Olympics, ran her race to take the silver, returning home with the best 51.58, while Femke Bol from the Netherlands took the bronze in a European record of 52.03.

    “I am absolutely delighted. What a wonderful fight. I am grateful to be here to celebrate this great fight and to represent my country,” McLaughlin said. “I saw Dalila in front of me with one to go. I just thought, ‘run your race.’

    “The fight doesn’t really start until obstacle seven. I just wanted to go out there and give him what I had.”

    The showdown between McLaughlin and Muhammad, 31, was one of the most anticipated for the Tokyo Games track and field and came a day after Norwegian Karsten Warholm broke his own world record in the men’s event.

    While silver was not the medal she hoped for, Mohammed was excited to set a best record of 52.16 and said she was proud of her teammate.

    “Just like the men’s race, all three of our seasons would have won any Olympics, any other year,” he added. “I am so proud to be part of this story and even more proud of my teammate, Sydney.”

    When McLaughlin’s last overproduction since joining forces in 2020 with the famous coach Bob Kersee, whom he believes took him to the next level after failing to reach the final of the 2016 Olympics.

    The connection with Kersey also turned her idol – six-time gold medalist Olison Felix – into her coaching partner.

    “You just trust your coaching, you trust your coach and that will get you all the way,” McLaughlin said.

    Bowl, who beat fourth-placed Janieve Russell of Jamaica for more than a second for her first Olympic medal, said she knew he had to bring her the “A-game” to get on the podium.

    “These other girls are so strong,” Bowl said.

    “I felt like I was too fit. I thought, ‘I’m going to go hard and see where I end up.’ I knew I was fast and I think I proved it to myself. ‘

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