EUGENE, Oregon. — Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles at the US Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
McLaughlin smiled broadly when her time was announced, then gave a thumbs up. She crossed the finish line in 51.41 seconds, beating her record of 51.46 set last year at the Tokyo Games, where she won the gold medal.
She said she had no idea what to expect after overcoming the last hurdle.
“I was just about to finish the race. You know that anything is possible,” she said. “I’m just really grateful for that.”
The top three finishers in each national championship event will represent the United States at the World Outdoor Championships, also held in Eugene at Hayward Field next month. The largest non-Olympic athletics event will be held on American soil for the first time.
Allison Felix, the most decorated woman in the history of track and field, finished sixth in the 400 meters in her last race of the national championship.
Felix, who announced in April that this would be her final season, is enjoying the final days of her illustrious career, which includes 11 Olympic medals. She plans to hold her last official race in August in her native Los Angeles. Despite the finish, Felix is expected to make the mixed relay team at the World Championships.
NCAA champion Talita Diggs of Florida won the 400 in 50.22 seconds. Delilah Muhammad missed the race with a minor injury, but she has already qualified for the World Championships as the event’s reigning champion.
“It was a great field. So I just wanted to make sure I keep my form, engage my core and just push,” Diggs said.
When asked if she was disappointed with the result, Felix laughed.
“Honestly, no,” she said. “Guys, you know that 400 meters are hard for me. This is not my natural passion. I’ve always just challenged myself.”
Michael Norman ran the men’s 400m with a world-leading 43.56. Last year, he finished first in the Olympic trials and placed fifth in Tokyo.
World record holder Keni Harrison won the women’s 100m hurdles in 12:34.
The temperature at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon soared to 90 degrees. Activities for Sunday, the last day of the meeting, were rescheduled to an earlier day due to the heat.
Sprinter Sha’Karri Richardson made it to the final race of the 200m on Sunday, finishing second in her heat.
Richardson, known for her ever-changing hair color and long nails, did not qualify for the final 100, although she was among the favorites after winning the Olympic trials last year. Richardson missed out on Team USA in Tokyo after testing positive for marijuana after the race.
Richardson’s run was marked by a few late scratches, but she finished in 22.69 seconds. Abby Steiner of Kentucky, who set the collegiate record in the 200 meters at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, set a race time of 22:14.
American record holder Kara Winger won the javelin throw at 210 feet 10 inches, her ninth career national title. Sinclair Johnson, 2019 NCAA Champion, won the 1500m in 4:03.29.
Among the men, Cooper Tire finished first in 3:45.86. Tyr is also in the 5000 on Sunday. Olympic silver medalist Chris Nielsen won the pole vault. Hillary Bohr won the steeplechase by such a wide margin that he pointed to the stands in celebration.