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The title of first woman ever in the history of the 400-meter hurdles to go below 52 seconds now belongs solely to Sydney McLaughlin.
On Sunday, in a day where Oregon saw record heat and races had to be delayed until evening, McLaughlin ran the race of her life against rival Dalilah Muhammad. The last two times McLaughlin and Muhammad faced off in the 400-meter hurdles, Muhammad set world records winning both races. Two years ago in Des Moines, Iowa at the national championships and a couple months afterwards at worlds in Qatar Muhammad finished first placing a world record with McLaughlin finishing in second.
“This season working with my new coach and just my new support system, it’s truly just faith and trusting the process, and I couldn’t ask for anything more,” McLaughlin said in her post-race interview.
Temperatures at Hayward Field in Oregon reached a high of 108 degrees with the surface of the track exceeding 150 degrees. The heat forced officials to delay races around 3:00 p.m. until later in the evening once it cooled down some.
In just her fourth 400-meter hurdle race this season, McLaughlin did something that has never been done before by a woman, breaking the 52-second barrier.
“Trusting the process, a lot of things you really can’t see coming. Having that child-like faith and trusting that everything is gonna work out,” is what McLaughlin credits to her record-breaking run.
Representing the USA at the Olympics
McLaughlin and Muhammad will be representing the U.S. later this summer in Tokyo in the 400-meter hurdle as well as the defending NCAA champion in the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles, Anna Cockrell.
The trio is added to an already high-profile list of strong Black women athletes headed to Tokyo to represent the United States in August. Headlined by the highly-decorated Simone Biles, the U.S. will hope to bring home a bunch of medals thanks to these talented women.