Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles during the finals of the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon.
McLaughlin, 21, recorded a time of 51.90 seconds, becoming the first woman to break the 52-second barrier. Dalilah Muhammad, who finished second in the final, was the previous record-holder at 52.16 seconds.
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will be McLaughlin’s second Olympic Games.
As a 16-year-old in 2016, the University of Kentucky track star McLaughlin was the youngest American on the Olympic track and field team. She placed fifth in her semifinal heat in Rio but did not make the final. She won a silver medal at the 2019 world championships in the event, and she helped lead the American team to gold in the 4×400-meter relay.
Officials said temperatures topped 109 degrees in Oregon, causing some races to be delayed until the evening. It didn’t stop athletes from running fast times though. It certainly didn’t stop Mclaughlin “the goat” from obliterating the race.
After dominating the race postponed for record heat, McLaughlin knelt to the ground and covered her mouth in disbelief when she saw the time on the scoreboard. Muhammad was the first to congratulate her with a celebratory hug.
Sydney McLaughlin set the world record in 400m hurdles 😱
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 28, 2021
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) June 28, 2021
McLaughlin later credited her faith and her coach, Bob Kersee, whom she began working with in 2020.
“This season, working with my new coach and just my new support system, it’s truly just faith and trusting the process, and I couldn’t ask for anything more,” McLaughlin told NBC News after the race.
“Trusting the process,” McLaughlin cited as the reason for Sunday’s result. “A lot of things you really can’t see coming, but just having that childlike faith and just trusting that everything’s going to work out. Bobby’s really good at that, and I’m really happy that I chose to go with him.”