She's so ahead of her competition that the silver medalist wonders if she's running really bad. Sydney McLaughlin smashes her own world record in the 400m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships. She is thrilled that her whole family can be there.
Sydney McLaughlin is now familiar with world records, but after this fabulous time over the 400 meter hurdles at the World Championships in Athletics, the American also seemed stunned. While the spectators raged at Hayward Field Stadium, the 22-year-old just sat on the track for a long time.
For the fourth time in the past 13 months, she had surpassed the best time over the stadium loop with obstacles and remained in Eugene as the first woman in the world under the 51-second mark: she needed 50.68 seconds and undercut her just a month ago in the US Championships record by incredible 0.73 seconds. "It's unreal," McLaughlin said over the stadium microphone after the first world record of this World Cup in the United States.
Even her medal, which will be handed out in Eugene immediately after the decision so that the winners can have it with them to celebrate with families, friends and fans, someone had to put it on her while she was still sitting. "I just wanted to do it. The last 100 meters really hurt," she said. Even before the home stretch it was obvious that she was only running against the clock and no longer against her competitors.
Silver went to Femke Bol of the Netherlands in 52.27 seconds. There has never been a greater gap between World Championship gold and World Championship silver - 1.59 seconds - on this route. "She was so far ahead that I had doubts if it was really a good race, although it felt good," said Bol. She also undercut the world record that stood until 2019 - which underlines the speed.
Dalilah Muhammad of the USA took bronze with 53.13 seconds. The Rio Olympic champion broke the 16-year record set by Russia's Julia Pechonkina in 2019 and has since broken the 52-second mark - but McLaughlin broke that mark three times in the past two months alone. What was once an exciting duel between two world-class athletes is now a no-brainer for McLaughlin. She has now set five of the six best times ever recorded in the 400m hurdles, pushing all the apparent limits of her discipline.
She gets a bonus of 70,000 US dollars for World Championship gold and another 100,000 US dollars for the world record. Even more than the huge check presented by World Association President Sebastian Coe after the award ceremony with anthem, McLaughlin was happy about something else: "It was absolutely unreal to have my whole family in the stands. I never had them all in one place . That was big for me."