At the end of a merciless clash with her compatriot Dalilah Muhammad, holder of the previous record (52 seconds 16), the American Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record in the women’s 400 m hurdles with a performance of 51 seconds 90. 21, she becomes the first woman in athletics history to set a time of less than 52 seconds. She accomplished this feat during the American Olympic selections, which are held in Eugene, Oregon (northwestern United States). Defending Olympic and world champion Dalilah Muhammad was second in 52 seconds 42.
The race, which was scheduled to take place in the afternoon, was postponed until the evening due to the high temperatures felt in Eugene. But the delay did not seem to have affected the two Americans, who quickly took the lead after a quick start.
Muhammad, whose preseason was disrupted after she contracted Covid-19 earlier this year, had a slight lead coming out of the last corner. But she couldn’t react when McLaughlin kicked the accelerator down the home stretch, crossing the line and then holding her face in shock at the confirmation of her record. Anna Cockrell got the third qualifying place, in 53 seconds 70.