Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles at the US track and field championships on Saturday.
McLaughlin flashed a broad smile when each time was announced, then gave a thumbs-up. She crossed the finish line at Hayward Field in 51.41 seconds, breaking her own record of 51.46sec set last year at the Tokyo Olympics, where she won gold.
“I mean it’s Track Town USA, what do you expect? she said afterward. “Every time I come here I can just feel something amazing is going to happen.”
Asked how she was going to celebrate afterward, McLaughlin joked: “Eating some real food besides vegetables. Like a cheeseburger or something, some pancakes.”
The top three finishers in each event at the national championships will represent the United States in the world championships, also at Eugene’s Hayward Field, next month. It is the first time that track and field’s biggest event outside the Olympics will be held on American soil.
Dalilah Muhammad sat out of the race because of a slight injury, but she has already qualified for the world championships as the defending champion in the event. McLaughlin will also be joined on the US team by runner-up Britton Wilson and third-place finisher Shamier Little.
Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in track history, finished sixth in the 400m, in what was her final national championship race.
Felix, who announced in April that this will be her final season, is enjoying the final days of her illustrious career which includes 11 Olympic medals. She plans to run her final official race in her native Los Angeles in August. Despite her finish, Felix is expected make the mixed relay team at worlds.
NCAA champion Talitha Diggs of Florida won the 400m in 50.22sec. Asked if she was disappointed with the finish, Felix laughed.
“Honestly no. You guys know the 400 is hard for me. It’s not my natural passion, it’s always just been something I challenged myself with,” she said.
Michael Norman ran the men’s 400m in a world-leading 43.56sec. He finished first at the Olympic trials last year and went on to place fifth in Tokyo. World record holder Keni Harrison won the women’s 100 hurdles in 12.34sec.
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson made it through to the 200m final on Sunday by finishing second in her heat.
Richardson, known for her ever-changing hair color and long nails, did not qualify for the 100m final, even though she was among the favorites after winning the event at the Olympic trials last year. Richardson did not make the US team for Tokyo after she tested positive for marijuana following the race.