Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin on Saturday broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
McLaughlin flashed a broad smile when her time was announced, then gave a thumbs-up. She crossed the finish line at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in 51.41 seconds, breaking her own record of 51.46 set last year at the Tokyo Games, where she won the gold medal.
“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, 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 are to represent the US in the world outdoor championships, also at Hayward Field, next month.
It is the first time that track and field’s biggest event outside of the Olympics would be held in the US.
Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in track history, finished sixth in the 400m, in what was her final national championship race after 19 seasons.
“There is nothing left that I have to do,” Felix, 36, said. “For the first time in me, I didn’t feel I had that fight in me, and that’s who I am. And when I felt that I knew there was nothing left to do but be grateful and watch all these amazing athletes.”
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.
Yet the weekend had bittersweet moments for the winner of 11 Olympic medals and 18 world championship honors.
The US Supreme Court overturned the legal decision Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed US women the constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday morning before Felix ran in the women’s 400m semi-finals.
“I think any time women’s rights get taken away, it’s a sad day,” Felix said on Saturday.
A fierce advocate for the rights of women since the birth of her daughter in 2018, Felix said: “I will always fight for women and always will stand on that decision. It was very unfortunate.”
A final street race in Los Angeles in early August will close out her running career.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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