It’s no secret that great rivalries make athletes push to break their limits. And at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Sidney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad will add another chapter in their great rilvalry at the 400m hurdles. These two athletes have been the protagonists of so many great battles, including the one for the world record.
While Muhammad, 31 year-old, is the current Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion, McLaughlin, 21, is the current holder of the world record. She broke it in June at the US Olympic trials and wants to lower it in Tokyo. Both of these athletes are already in the semifinals in the Olympic event.
They both dominated their heats in the qualification. McLaughlin won the third heat with a time of 54.65 seconds and Muhammad did it in the fifth heat at 53.97. Before seeing them in the semis and final in Tokyo, on Monday, August 2, here check out the story of the women’s 400m hurdles world record.
How McLaughling broke Muhammad’s 400m hurdles world record?
Muhammad had set the world record in the women’s 400m hurdles two times. First, she set it at 52.20s in July 2019 at the United States Championships. Then, at the Doha World Athletics Championships, which were held in October, she lowered to 52.16s.
However, since then, Muhammad faced some challenges. She suffered from hamstring injuries and then tested positive with Covid in February. Of course, that was a setback in her training for the Olympics, but she overcame it and eventually could get back in shape for the trials.
On the other hand, McLaughlin, who was only 17 in Rio 2016 when she fell in the semifinals, got a new trainer and was ready for the Olympic trials. There, she ran in 51.90 seconds, setting the new world record and being the first woman to finish the 400m hurdles in less than 52 seconds. Muhammad was second with a time 52.42s.
Now, McLaughlin seems like the favorite to win gold at Tokyo 2020. But Muhammad is a true champion, and she will try to defend her Olympic gold. We can’t know what it’s going to happen but one thing is sure, this rivalry isn’t over.