Quick Bit: At just 22 years old, Sydney McLaughlin has firmly established herself as one of track’s brightest stars.
Sydney McLaughlin continues to show why she is one of the brightest stars in track and field.
On Sunday, she capped off the United States’ 13-gold-medal performance at the 2022 World Athletics Championships by anchoring the final leg of the women’s 4×400-meter relay. There, she helped secure a third consecutive gold medal for the U.S. women with a blazing split of 47.91 seconds.
By comparison, no other runner in the field ran a split faster than 49.39 seconds, and only five women, including McLaughlin, came in under 50 seconds with their splits. Overall, the United States finished with a world-leading time of 3:17.79.
It was the second gold-medal performance for McLaughlin of the meet after she won gold in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. There, she shattered the world record, which she already held, by nearly 0.8 seconds.
After her performance in the 4×400 relay, the clamoring became louder for McLaughlin to also compete in the individual 400 meters. On the world stage, (Olympics and Worlds), she has only competed in the 400-meter hurdles and the 4×400 relay.
How would her times stack up in the sprint event? The Sporting News takes a look.
400-meter world record
McLaughlin is no guarantee to beat the world record in the 400, but she could be close.
Germany’s Marita Koch holds the women’s world record at 47.60 seconds, which she set in 1985. Koch is the last female sprinter to post a time under 48 seconds in the event. The closest anyone has come since then is Bahraini sprinter Salwa Eid Naser, who posted the world’s third-fastest time, 48.14, in the 2019 Doha World Athletic Championships.
McLaughlin’s split of 47.91 would already make her the second-fastest sprinter in the 400 in women’s history, coming in just ahead of Czech sprinter Jarmila Kratochv?lov?, who ran a then-record 47.99 in 1983.
This year, the world-leading time has come from the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who won the World Athletic Championships 400 in 49.11.
McLaughlin’s personal record in the 400 is 50.07, which she ran in 2018 at the Florida Relays.
400-meter hurdles world record
McLaughlin has shattered the world record in the 400-meter hurdles four times since the start of 2021. She first set it on June 27, 2021, with a time of 51.90, the first time a woman had run under 52 seconds in the event.
She set it again on Aug. 4, 2021, in the Olympics, winning gold with a time of 51.46. Then came a 51.41 at the 2022 U.S. National Championships on June 25. Friday at the World Athletic Championships, her 50.68 made her the first woman to go under 51 seconds. She won the race by more than 1.5 seconds.
Her hurdles time is more impressive when put in the context of the flat 400. That 50.68 time would have been tied for the 57th-fastest time this year without hurdles, and it would have been fast enough to place her seventh in the event at the world championships.
With an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship medal and having set the record four times, McLaughlin has established that no one else is in her realm in the 400-meter hurdles. Given what she has done in a relay, she’s showing there are few who could even keep up on flat ground.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More