New World Record Set by USA’s Sydney McLaughlin at Tokyo Olympics 2020 Finals

Published 08/04/2021, 2:31 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 400m Hurdles – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Gold medallist Sydney McLaughlin of the United States celebrates after setting a new world record REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson


Team USA’s track stars continued to impress in the Tokyo Olympics as they bagged medals in the first final of Day 12. In the women’s 400m hurdles final, 21-year-old Sydney McLaughlin clinched her maiden Olympic gold medal. She finished ahead of fellow American Dalilah Muhammad, who clinched silver.

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While she clinched gold, McLaughlin set a new world record of 51.46s to cement her place in history.

Sydney McLaughlin smashes her own world record en route to gold in Tokyo Olympics

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With a reaction of 0.163s off the line, McLaughlin made an impressive start in the final. Although she faced a challenge from her compatriot Muhammad, the 21-year-old kicked into an extra gear to finish just 0.12s ahead of Muhammad.

With a time of 51.46s, McLaughlin shaved a stunning 0.44s off her own world record of 51.90s. She set that record during the US Olympic Trials in June which secured her place in Tokyo. In fact, both McLaughlin and Muhammad finished under the previous world record time, which gave the latter her personal best.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 400m Hurdles – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Dalilah Muhammad of the United States and Sydney McLaughlin of the United States embrace after competing REUTERS/Phil Noble

This result meant both the men’s and women’s 400m hurdles final saw two competitors finish under the previous world record time. Yesterday, Norwegian hurdler Kasper Warholm shattered his own world record to set a new one at 45.94s with USA’s Rai Benjamin finishing 0.23s behind.

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Muhammad happy with second place finish in the final

The 31-year-old delivered another silver medal on the track to add to USA’s ever-increasing medal tally in Tokyo. When asked whether the result disappointed her, she admitted setting a personal best made her happy.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 400m Hurdles – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Sydney McLaughlin of the United States poses as she celebrates after winning gold and setting a new world record alongside silver medallist, Dalilah Muhammad of the United States REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

She said“Every question is going to be, ‘Am I happy or am I unhappy with silver?’ But, that’s not how I feel at all. I’ve had an amazing year and to finish with 51.5 & shattering my personal best is absolutely amazing.”

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She also expressed pride for McLaughlin’s result. Just like the men’s race, all three of our times would have won any Olympics, any other year. I’m so proud to be part of that history and even more proud of my teammate Sydney. I’m just happy it’s a one-two final for USA and today I’m happy with second.”

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With this result, USA took their medal tally in athletics to 13 medals in Tokyo. This tally comprises three gold medals, seven silver medals and three bronze medals.

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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