American hurdler and Olympic gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin won the women’s 400-meter hurdles on Wednesday at the Tokyo Games while also setting a new world record.
McLaughlin finished the run at 51.46 seconds, almost half a second faster than her previous world record set during the United States Olympic Trials in June.
“I’m absolutely delighted. What a great race. I’m just grateful to be out here celebrating that extraordinary race and representing my country,” the 21-year-old from New Jersey said.
The second place was also taken by Team USA after defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad finished the sensational run with a personal best of 51.58 seconds.
Muhammad, a 31-year-old New York City native and former world record holder with a time of 52.16 seconds, won gold in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and was attempting to become the first woman to repeat as champion in the 400-meter hurdles.
“No mixed emotions,” she said. “Sure, there are always things you want to do better. But you use this as a springboard to the next. This is not my last race.”
Muhammad was followed by the Netherlands’ Femke Bol who finished third and took home bronze with a European record of 52.03 seconds.
“I just went out like crazy for the first 300 to be with them,” the bronze medalist said.
One day ago in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, Norway’s Karsten Warholm also set a new world record, finishing the run in 45.94 seconds. The Norwegian already entered the race as the world record holder and shattered his own world record by more than half a second.
“I never thought in my wildest imagination that this would be possible,” Warholm told reporters after the race while expressing his thoughts on obliterating his own world record.
“I was just running over the line because I didn’t take anything for granted today. All respect to Rai for running 46.17—that’s just crazy,” he added.
American sprinter Rai Benjamin took home silver and is the second-fastest man in the history of the 400-meter hurdles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.