Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone breaks 400m hurdles world record for fifth time


Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone broke the 400-meter hurdles world record for the fifth time on Sunday, clocking 50.65 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials.

The 24-year-old shaved 0.03 seconds off her previous record, which had also been set at Eugene’s Hayward Field two years ago, and in the process earned a spot on the U.S. team for the Paris Olympics.

Running in lane five, McLaughlin-Levrone was leading the race at the 250-meter mark and had opened up a large lead as he raced down the homestretch.

She finished almost two seconds ahead of Anna Cockrell in second place, with a look of disbelief on her face as she crossed the line and caught her breath.

“I honestly didn’t expect that moment,” McLaughlin-Levrone later told reporters, adding: “Knowing that there’s more there and there’s more to fix just gives me confidence going into Paris.”

Despite having run the 400m hurdles just once this year before the U.S. trials, McLaughlin-Levrone swept her heats ahead of Sunday’s final.

She will go into the Paris Olympics as one of the stars of the U.S. team and a heavy favorite to defend her title from three years ago, with Dutch athlete Femke Bol likely to provide the strongest competition.

Cockrell and Jasmine Jones rounded out the podium at the U.S. Trials with personal best times of 52.64 and 52.77 to qualify for the Paris Games.

“I’d love to get below 50 at some point,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “I don’t know if that will be this year or next. Always working, seeing what is possible and continuing to improve the career.

“There are a lot of different ways to do it and I feel like every time I’m on the track, I try to figure out what the best way is.”

McLaughlin-Levrone now owns seven of the 10 fastest times in history in the 400-meter hurdles, while four of her five world records have been set at Hayward Field.

In the men’s event, Rai Benjamin set a trial record of 46.46 and is looking to improve on the silver medal he won behind Norway’s Karsten Warholm at the Tokyo Olympics. CJ Allen and Trevor Bassitt also made the team after finishing second and third respectively.

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