Nothing seems to be able to stop world-renowned track star Sydney McLaughlin – not even herself.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, the athlete rose to stardom under the moniker “Syd the Kid.” At the age of 16, she was the youngest track athlete to make the U.S. Track and Field team since 1972. Since her Olympic debut, her climb to the top has never slowed down.
During the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021, McLaughlin caused jaws to drop when she ran a 51.90 second 400 m hurdle race, breaking the world record for that event. By the 2022 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which took place last month, she got her 400 m hurdle time down to 51.41. And, just when the world thought she couldn’t get any faster, she proved everyone wrong.
The 2022 World Track and Field Championships gave McLaughlin the opportunity to beat her 400 m hurdle record yet again. On July 22nd, in Eugene, Oregon, the sprinter smashed her previous world record, finishing her race at a whopping 50.68.
Sydney McLaughlin discussed advancing the 400 m hurdle world record
“We thought we’d be able to go a little faster [than 50.68],” the runner said following her gold medal-winning race, according to NBC Sports. “But we’re super grateful with that time. Anything under 51 was a win for us.”
When discussing her world record-breaking time, she relayed that since last year, she has been devoting time to advancing her speed, per the World Athletics website. “The time is absolutely amazing and the sport is getting faster and faster,” she shared. “Just figuring out what barriers can be broken. I only get faster from here.”
Explaining her training process, McLaughlin added, “I executed the race the way Bobby (Kersee, her coach) wanted me to. I knew coming home that if I just kept my cadence and stayed on stride pattern, we could do it and it happened.”
Undoubtedly, the 22-year-old Olympian is an inspiration for track athletes around the world. Given that this is her fourth time breaking world records for the 400 m hurdle event, she had wise words to share with those dedicating themselves to the sport.
“I would just say focus on your lane. Literally and figuratively,” McLaughlin advised last year after the U.S. Olympic Trials, according to PEOPLE. “Other people are going to peak at different times. And I think even to this day in my pro career, people will run fast at different times and it can throw you off if you’re not focused on what’s ahead of you.”
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