Fans have been eagerly waiting for Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone to make her return to the 400m hurdles. First, they were disappointed at the recent Oxy Invitational in Los Angeles when she only participated in the 100m competition. Then at the LA Grand Prix she graced the 200mH letting her fans down once again. Now as the Edwin Moses Legends Meet draws near, McLaughlin is expected to end her hiatus from 400m, however, fans are not hopeful.

Following an injury that kept her out of competition for half of the 2023 season, she made her Olympic season debut at Mt. SAC Relays on April 20. Having consistently bettered her 400m hurdles outdoor records, it was expected she would be participating in the competition again. But, her absence from the 400m hurdles has generated a wave of doubt and criticism within the track and field community.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone set to make a grand return to 400mH amid fan furor


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There have been questions about McLaughlin-Levrone’s 400m hurdles participation this season, especially since her withdrawal from the 2023 World Championships. She has only run the distance twice internationally, in June 2023, posting remarkable times of 49.71 and 49.51.

After her failure to participate in the 400mH events this year, there are doubts whether she will return to her prime competition at the upcoming Edwin Moses Legends Meet. But @EmeroleAnderson appeared optimistic on X and posted “I see Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone in the 400mH in Atlanta on May 31st She ran 51.61 with misplaced hurdles in Nashville, TN before breaking the World record twice in 2022 – ultimately running her 50.68 for Gold in Eugene What can we expect now after her 22.07 PB?.”

McLaughlin-Levrone and her coach, Bobby Kersee later affirmed her dedication to her signature event in the face of rumors that she might expand into the flat 400m. As the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials nears, McLaughlin-Levrone is the center of attention as she gets ready to recapture her 400m hurdles glory.

Kersee confirmed earlier this week that the 24-year-old’s 400m hurdles plan for trials, which will take place from June 21-30 in Eugene, Oregon. McLaughlin-Levrone’s aim would be to be in the top three in the June 30 final to make it to the team for Paris.

“I think Sydney’s love is the 400m hurdles, and so that’s the number one event,” Kersee reportedly said. “My job is to make sure that she gets ready for the one that she wants to do the most.” He also added that McLaughlin-Levrone might race a flat 400m at the USATF New York City Grand Prix on June 9.

She has been named among the athletes which will be participating in the 400m hurdles in Atlanta on Friday 31 May. This will mark her return to the discipline for the first time since August 2022. McLaughlin-Levrone has excelled in the 400mH, holding the world record for registering a sensational time of 50.68 seconds at the World Championships two years ago. This was her third world title victory.

When asked about her goals post 2023, McLaughlin-Levrone had said she wanted to explore the flat 400m without sacrificing her commitment to the hurdles. Her recent performances do showcase that she is determined to make her mark in the Olympic year, but will it be in the 400m?

At the 2024 Los Angeles Grand Prix, as McLaughlin-Levrone won in the 200m and 100 events and alluded to her potential in various distances of the sport. Last year, her decision to withdraw from the flat 400m at the World Championships in Budapest owing to an injury was understandable, however, continued absence from the 400m may have changed the fan sentiment as one from being in awe to growing impatient.

“Her team has a tendency,” Fans clash over McLaughlin-Levrone’s participation

The Edwin Moses Legends Meet, which is scheduled for May 31st, will feature several athletes, including Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, already announced for the 400mH event. The anticipation is high around her return to the discipline, however, an upset fan showed skepticism in the light of her recent reluctance to participate in these events and wrote, “Doubt she shows up.”

Apart from holding the world record, she also has the second-fastest open 400m in history at 48.74. Her other noteworthy accomplishments include leading the 4x400m relay team to victory besides winning the 400m hurdles medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Her withdrawal from the World Championships last year may not have gone down well but in her defense she wasn’t medically cleared to compete.

Amid the questions around her, another fan defended the world champion and wrote, “Yall need to stop throwing unnecessary shade for no reason, like damn. It’s starting to become a bit corny now.”

via Reuters

This led to a continued argument, followed by another explanation: “I’m not throwing shade. Her team has a tendency to withdraw her from meets, and that’s not an opinion, that’s a FACT! I worded my post the way I did so people wouldn’t get overly excited and then be disappointed if a situation occurred where she did withdraw.”

At the Oxy Invitational she reached the finish line in an impressive 10.71s, just 0.06 seconds sort of her personal best in 2021. Now fans want to see her compete in the 400mH, which according to the latest update, she will in Atlanta. But given her withdrawal from the field in LA Grand Prix, fans remain skeptical.

Someone was partially favoring the US athlete saying, “100% correct to use ‘If”, you’re promoting their event so no need for anyone to start crying at your choice of word!”

Those worried about whether McLaughlin compete in the 400mH event for Olympic trails, were put to ease by her coach’s comments. But there is also precedent for her choices this year so far. In 2021, she competed in the 100m hurdles five times leading up to the Olympic Trials, where she broke the 400m hurdles world record for the first time.


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“If she shows up she’s officially beat the allegations,” said an optimistic commenter, hoping McLaughlin-Levrone competes before the US Trials begin.

McLaughlin-Levrone won the U.S. title in the flat 400m last July in 48.74 seconds. This was the world’s fastest time over all of 2023 and the second-fastest time in American history. After from setting the world record during the Tokyo Olympic trials, she set a new Olympics record besting her own previous time. She finished with a time of 51.46. But there was more to come.

In June 2022 at the USATF Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, she broke her own world record; running a time of 51.41. A month later, she would again break the record with a stunning time of 50.68. Her achievement meant she became the first female in the history of the sport to break the 51-second barrier.


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Hence, it was no surprise when one fan shared that the reason for buying tickets for the event was to see the champion, “I just bought my ticket for this purpose.”

Despite some people’s skepticism over McLaughlin-Levrone’s race diversions into other events, her dedication to the 400-meter hurdles is steadfast. The track and field community is excitedly awaiting her next step as she prepares for the forthcoming challenges and looks forward to yet another remarkable chapter in her athletics career.