LEXINGTON, Ky. — Former University of Kentucky track and field star Sydney McLaughlin broke the 400-meter hurdles world record during Sunday night's United States Olympic Team Trials finals. She supplanted now-former record holder Dalilah Muhammad and secured her spot on Team USA.


What You Need To Know

  • Former Wildcat Sydney McLaughlin broke the 400-meter hurdles world record

  • She will compete for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics

  • McLaughlin is the first woman in history to break 52 seconds

  • Other UK alumna will join McLaughlin in Tokyo

McLaughlin clocked 51.90 seconds, compared to Rio gold medalist Muhammad's previous record of 52.16 from the 2019 World Championships. The former Wildcat is now the first woman in history to break 52 seconds.

“I will cherish this for the rest of my life,” said McLaughlin. 

McLaughlin was eliminated in the semifinals in Rio with a cold at age 17, the youngest American to compete in track and field at an Olympics since 1972.

Muhammad, who ran in an adjacent lane, was the first athlete to hug her and shake her hand.

“There’s no animosity or hard feelings,” McLaughlin said. “We have to have each other to have these world records.”

McLaughlin announced in February that she changed coaches from 2004 Olympic 100m hurdles champion Joanna Hayes to Bobby Kersee.

Three other Wildcats earned individual-event places on Team USA during the trials, including Javianne Oliver in the women's 100m dash, Keni Harrison in the 100m hurdles and Daniel Roberts in the 110m hurdles. They will be joined at the Olympics by UK alumna Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who will represent Puerto Rico in the 100m hurdles and Leah Nugent who made the Jamaican team in the 400-meter hurdles.

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