Sydney McLaughlin was in devastating form on Sunday’s final day of the 2021 US Olympic trials. She hit top speed to set a new world 400m hurdles record, minutes after athletes returned to the track.
Extreme heat, which had temperatures approaching 110 degrees and nearly 150 degrees, forced to meet to delay by four hours. Heptathlete Tayliah Brooks, who looked to faint, was rushed to hospital. She is said to be okay.
McLaughlin, knocking on the door for months, finally got her reward in 51.90 seconds. She is the first woman in history to run sub-52 seconds.
Dalilah Muhammad, second in the race, set the previous world record of 52.16 to beat McLaughlin and Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton at the Doha 2019 World Championships. Muhammad, in that year, broke the world record twice, the first 52.20 at the US Championships.
“It’s truly just faith and trusting the process. I could not ask for anything more,” McLaughlin said in her post-race interview NBC. “I’m really happy I chose to go with [Kersee].”
Anna Cockrell, the NCAA 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles champion, finished third in a personal-best 53.70. Shamier Little, who finished fourth in 53.83, failed to make the Tokyo Olympic Games team.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce didn’t break any world record, but she was the star of the show at the Jamaica Olympic trials. She ran 10.71 and 21.79 to win the sprint double.
Shericka Jackson, with personal best times of 10.77 (semi-finals), 10.82 (final) and Elaine Thompson-Herah 10.84 and 22.02, also qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The trio will now gear up for Americans Sha’Carri Richardson in the 100m, Gabby Thomas (21.61) and British Dina Asher-Smith in the 200m.