McLaughlin Runs Fastest 400 Hurdle Semifinal Time At Worlds

After what Sydney McLaughlin did on Wednesday night, the superstar from New Jersey looks poised to throw down another historic performance in the women's 400-meter hurdle final at the World Championships.

The 22 year-old McLaughlin, a 2017 graduate of Union Catholic High, served notice that she's ready to once again do something spectacular in the final by easily winning her semifinal heat in the 400 hurdles with a very fast 52.17 on Wednesday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.  

Despite backing off the gas after coming off the last hurdle, McLaughlin just missed breaking the World Championship meet record of 52.16 set in 2019 in Doha by defending champion Dalilah Muhammad of the U.S., and her time would have been the world record three years ago.  

McLaughlin, the gold medalist in the 400 hurdles at the Olympics in Tokyo last summer, has lowered the world record three times in the past 13 months, and her performance in the semifinals suggests that she's prepared to break it again in what has the makings of another epic showdown with Muhammad and Femke Bol of the Netherlands in the final on Friday at 10:50 p.m., which can be seen on the USA Network. 

The final will be a rematch between the three medalists from the Olympics last summer, who are also the three fastest women in world history. McLaughlin won the Olympic gold in a then world record 51.46 (she lowered it to 51.41 at the U.S. National Championship at Hayward Field last month). Muhammad was second in a PR of 51.58, and Bol was third with a PR 52.03.

Muhammad, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist who edged McLaughlin to win the gold at the 2019 World Championships, won her semifinal heat in 53.29, and Bol also easily captured her semifinal heat in 52.84.     

After the semifinals, Muhammad told Lewis Johnson during an interview on the USA Network that she feels she will have to run two seconds faster to have a chance to win the final. She's probably right. 

With the amount of talent in the race, there is no doubt that McLaughlin's world record of 51.41 could fall. 

The question is by how much????

Could McLaughlin break 51seconds?  

I wouldn't be surprised if she did!! Would you?

Here is a look at the world record progression in the women's 400 hurdles. 

56.51 Krystyna Kacperczyk (POL)July 13, 1974Augsburg[1]
55.74 Tatyana Storozheva (URS)June 26, 1977Chemnitz[1]
55.63 Karin Rossley (GDR)August 13, 1977Helsinki[1]
55.44 Krystyna Kacperczyk (POL)August 18, 1978Berlin[1]
55.31 Tatyana Zelentsova (URS)August 19, 1978Podolsk[1]
54.89 Tatyana Zelentsova (URS)September 2, 1978Prague[1]
54.78 Marina Makeyeva (URS)July 27, 1979Moscow[1]
54.28 Karin Rossley (GDR)May 17, 1980Jena[1]
54.02 Anna AmbrazienÄ— (URS)June 11, 1983Moscow[1]
53.58 Margarita Ponomaryova (URS)June 22, 1984Kiev[1]
53.55 Sabine Busch (GDR)September 22, 1985Berlin[1]
53.32 Marina Stepanova (URS)August 30, 1986Stuttgart[1]
52.94 Marina Stepanova (URS)September 19, 1986Tashkent[1]
52.74 Sally Gunnell (GBR)August 19, 1993Stuttgart[1]
52.61 Kim Batten (USA)August 11, 1995Gothenburg[1]
52.34 Yuliya Pechonkina (RUS)August 8, 2003Tula[1]
52.20 Dalilah Muhammad (USA)July 28, 2019Des Moines
52.16 Dalilah Muhammad (USA)October 4, 2019Doha
51.90 Sydney McLaughlin (USA)June 27, 2021Eugene
51.46 Sydney McLaughlin (USA)August 4, 2021Tokyo
51.41 Sydney McLaughlin (USA)June 25, 2022Eugene[2]