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Sydney McLaughlin wins 400mH gold and breaks world record

The 21-year-old broke her own world record and won gold in her first Olympic final

Another day on the track brings us another world record falling in the women’s 400mH. Sydney McLaughlin asserted her dominance, breaking her own world record in a time of 51.47. McLaughlin got out to a slow start but negative split her last 200m to take the lead over the final 100m and win gold. Dalilah Muhammad finished in the silver medal position with a personal best 51.58 and Femke Bol of the Netherlands won bronze with a new European record of 52.03.

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This race was one for the ages, as it featured three of the five fastest female 400m hurdlers of all time. No one would’ve predicted the five athletes running a personal best or better in the field. What separated McLaughlin from the field was her speed and composure as the race developed. Bol and Muhammad’s results would both have both been world record times one year ago.

Going into the race, Bol was undefeated over the 400mH distance in 2021. Muhammad became the second woman to run under 52 seconds, joining the exclusive club alongside her American teammate, McLaughlin. The U.S avoided a podium sweep, with Anna Cockrell being disqualified due to committing a 17.3 lane violation during the race.

It was 38 C and windy at the start of the final at National Stadium, and the warm weather has created ideal conditions for many sprinting events at these Games.

McLaughlin, only 21 years old, has the potential to reach the unknown 51-second barrier in this event, as her prime is only on the horizon. This marks the first time in Olympic track and field history where the women’s and men’s world records were both shattered in a matter of days.  

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