The Olympic Games in Tokyo have delivered yet another instant-classic. And this one might be for the ages. The women’s 400m hurdles final delivered peak performances that are rarely seen, even on the highest of levels.
In what’s without a shadow of a doubt the fastest final in history, the current world record was not only broken once but twice by Americans Sydney McLaughlin (gold) and Dalilah Muhammad (silver) while Dutch sprinter Femke Bol (bronze) threw in a European record for good measure.
Sydney McLaughlin finished the breathtaking race in just 51,46 seconds, edging out Dalilah Muhammad, who finished in 51,58 seconds, on the home straight. While both athletes beat McLaughlin’s former world record of 51,90 seconds spectacularly and convincingly, only one of them could win the gold medal in the end.
I think that’s really iron sharpening iron. Every time we step on the track, it’s always something fast.Sydney McLaughlin on her relationship with Dalilah Muhammad
The past clearly belonged to Dalilah Muhammad. The 30-year-old won gold at the previous Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 as well as at the world championships in Doha in 2019, where she set a world record at the time (52,16 seconds) and beat fellow Team USA member McLaughlin in the process.
With the fastest 400m hurdles final of all time under their belt, it’s save to say that both McLaughlin and Muhammad got now. As to whether who’s got next … At just 21 years old, Sydney McLaughlin and Femke Bol might have the inside track (track and field pun marginally intended). But for now, sports fans can look forward to the next chapter of what’s already a rivalry for the ages!