Sydney McLaughlin looked to her left and saw the numbers “51.90.” Her first thought: “Oh my gosh!” Now, at long last, the 400-meter hurdles world record belongs to her.
On Sunday night at U.S. Olympic track trials, McLaughlin finally outraced Dalilah Muhammad to earn the victory, and the record, that Muhammad kept grabbing whenever they met. McLaughlin’s 51.90 was good enough to beat Muhammad by 0.52 seconds. It shattered Muhammad’s old world record by 0.26. “It’s one of those moments you think about and dream about and play in your head that you’ll put it together,” said McLaughlin, who not long ago aligned with coach Bobby Kersee.
Noah Lyles won the 200 meters to punch his Olympic ticket, then celebrated by kneeling on the track and clasping his hands together: “I just stopped stressing and let my body do what it does,” he said after posting a world-leading time of 19.74 that came on the heels of some lackluster runs through the 100 and 200 rounds.
He shared the spotlight with 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton, whose third-place finish makes him the youngest male member of the U.S. Olympic track team since Jim Ryun in 1964. JuVaughn Harrison, a 22-year-old from LSU, won not one, but two titles on the same day to become the first American to make the Olympics in both the high jump and the long jump since Jim Thorpe in 1912.