Sydney McLaughlin just keeps getting better.
The U.S. track star who won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics ran the 400-meter hurdles in 51.41 seconds at the U.S. outdoor track and field championships on Saturday.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) June 25, 2022
The winning time set a new world record, besting her gold-medal time of 51.46 seconds at the Tokyo Games last August. That run topped the previous world record of 51.90 seconds that was held by — you guessed it — McLaughlin.
“I was just going to finish the race,” McLaughlin NBC's Lewis Johnson after Saturday's race. “We knew anything was possible. I’m really grateful for it.”
Britton Wilson finished in a distant second place on Saturday with a time of 53.08 seconds. Shamier Little finished third at 53.92. All three earned a spot in next month's world outdoor championships, which will be run on the same Hayward Field track in Eugene, Oregon.
Meanwhile, track icon Allyson Felix finished in sixth place with a time of 51.30 seconds in the 400 meters in what's expected to be her final U.S. outdoor track and field championships. Felix, who's the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete of all time with 11 Olympic medals — seven of them gold — is planning to retire after this season. She's 36 years old.
The top three finishers in each event on Saturday earned an automatic spot in the world championships. Talitha Diggs, the NCAA champion out of Florida, won the 400 meters at 50.22 seconds. Felix plans to run in the mixed relays event at the world championships, an invitation her sixth-place finish likely clinched. Her final season doesn't appear to be done yet.
“Happy that I don’t have any more open 400s ever,” Felix told reporters after the event. “I went to come here and give it my all, try to get in position for a relay and was able to get that done. So, can’t complain.”