‘Pressure Is an Illusion’- American World Record Holder Sydney McLaughlin Makes a Strong Statement at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/31/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Jun 25, 2021; Eugene, OR, USA;Sydney McLaughlin wins women’s 400m hurdles heat in 54.07 for the top time during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


At just twenty-one years of age, they already considered Sydney McLaughlin as one of the greatest women’s 400m hurdles athletes. The New Jersey native has been shattering national and state records since she was sixteen years old. 

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She went undefeated in her entire track career in high school and holds the World youth record and World Junior Record in the 400m hurdles. Recently, she beat her teammate and veteran hurdler Dalilah Muhammad in world record time.

Jun 25, 2021; Eugene, OR, USA;Sydney McLaughlin wins women’s 400m hurdles heat in 54.07 for the top time during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sydney McLaughlin cruises in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 heats

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Sydney McLaughlin cruised into first place at her first Olympic heats on Saturday. McLaughlin practically jogged across the finish line and clocked the fourth-fastest time at the heats.

“It was cool to just be able to get out there, shake out the rest, and get used to the environment, the air, the humidity, everything,” she told NBC Sports’ Lewis Johnson after the race. “I’d say it was a good first round. Things like [a false start] happen all the time, gotta be ready and prepared to respond.”

“Pressure’s an illusion, it’s what you make it,” she said. “I’m just here to have fun and represent my country.”

Sydney McLaughlin – Road to the Olympics 

Sydney McLaughlin’s road to the Olympics started when she was just 17 years old. She broke the World youth record and World Junior Record in the 400m hurdles. Ever since then, she’s only gotten better and better. This year she was finally able to step out of teammate Dalilah Muhammad’s shadow. 

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During the Olympic trials this year, Sydney McLaughlin beat the world record. She became the first woman in history to complete the 400m hurdles under 52 seconds. She set a time of 51.90 seconds and beat Dalilah Muhammad in the trials.

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Going into the Olympics, Sydney McLaughlin is the favorite at the event. She started out her Tokyo Olympics with a comfortable win in her first heats. McLaughlin made it look so easy that it looked like she was walking. She ran the last 50 or so meters, looking up at the clock. 

It will be interesting to see if the 21-year-old phenom will win gold and run an under 52 second time again. 

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Allan Binoy

243 articles

Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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