Sydney McLaughlin breaks own 400 meters hurdles record

Sydney McLaughlin sets a world record in the final of the Women 400 Meter Hurdles during the 2022 USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field on June 25, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by ANDY LYONS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

EUGENE, Ore. – Focus, skill and a little bit of “Track Town, USA” magic propelled Sydney McLaughlin to break her own world record – again – in the 400 meters hurdles on Saturday.

The Olympic gold medalist won the US championships final in 51.41 seconds at Hayward Field, improving upon her own benchmark time at the American track haven of Eugene, Oregon.

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The 22-year-old wrested the lead early and never gave the rest of the field a fighting chance, clinching her spot in the world championships in front of an adoring crowd.

“It’s Track Town, USA, what can you expect?” said McLaughlin. “Any time I come here I can just feel something amazing is going to happen.”

She previously set the record with a 51.90-second performance at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene almost a year ago to the day, only to shatter that figure in Tokyo, collecting gold in 51.46.

“I don’t anything compares to the first time you do it, just crossing that line in awe,” she told reporters when asked to compare which of her record-breaking efforts meant the most.

“This is just a great indicator of where we are and hopefully (we’re) going to go home and work on some things.”

Running out of lane five, McLaughlin put on a flawless performance with her opponents offering little in the way of pressure to push her toward the finish line.

McLaughlin, who also collected a relay gold in Tokyo, offered a subdued smile and double thumbs up as her accomplishment became clear.

Britton Wilson finished 1.67 seconds behind with Shamier Little taking third in 53.92.

“Zoning in on what I have to focus on puts me in a headspace to really not worry about anyone else and focus on 10 my hurdles,” she said after the race, adding that she planned to celebrate by eating some “real food – beside vegetables.”

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McLaughlin faces a potential showdown at the world championships with chief rival and reigning champion Dalilah Muhammad, who was absent from the national championships due to injury.