Track records continue to fall in Tokyo

For the second straight day, the 400m hurdles saw a new world record. This time, American Sydney McLaughlin was golden in winning the women's hurdles final.



August 4, 2021 - 8:07 AM

Silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad, left, hugs gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin, both of the United States, after the Women's 400m Hurdles Final during the Tokyo Olympic Games today. Photo by Ryan Pierse / Getty Images / TNS

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Games just keep producing some of the fasted moments the world has ever seen on the track.

A day after the men’s 400-meter hurdles staged possibly one of the greatest races ever run, the women put on their own show as one of the Games’ most anticipated rivalries lived up to the hype.

The United States’ Sydney McLaughlin smashed the world record and Dalilah Muhammad broke it as well in a sensational American 1-2 finish in the women’s 400 hurdles.

“Iron sharpening iron,” McLaughlin said of her latest showdown with Muhammad. “Every time we step on the track, it’s always something fast.”

This race sat on the razor’s edge for sure. McLaughlin came from behind after the last hurdle to claim the gold in 51.46 seconds, quicker than the 51.90 mark she set at the Olympic trials when she was the first woman to run under 52. Muhammad’s time of 51.58 also would have been a world record.

In this race, however, it was only good enough for second.

Expect these two to set more records between now and Paris in 2024. McLaughlin, 21, and Muhammad, 31, have been trading the record for two years.

Muhammad won the race in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. McLaughlin made the U.S. team but didn’t make the final that year.

“I made the mistake in 2016 of letting the atmosphere get to me,” McLaughlin said. “Just being able to put the pieces together, I am really grateful.”

On the basketball court, the U.S. women advanced to the semifinal round with a 79-55 win over Australia behind a 23-point effort from Breanna Stewart. The Americans are now just one win away from playing in their seventh consecutive gold medal game. They will face Serbia on Friday. The Serbians, who won the bronze medal in 2016, beat China 77-70.

The U.S. has won six consecutive gold medals, and 53 consecutive games in Olympic tournaments since 1992. The Americans put on their best game of the tournament from a roster that didn’t get together until about three weeks before the Games.

“It’s do or die at this point,” Sue Bird said. “That helps.”


Triston Casas hit his third home run of the Olympics, and the U.S stayed in gold medal contention with a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic. Tyler Austin, a former major leaguer in his home ballpark of the Central League’s Yokohama Bay Stars, added a solo home run in the fifth, his second long ball of the tournament.

The U.S. plays on Thursday night, meeting the loser of Wednesday night’s Japan-South Korea matchup for a berth in this weekend’s gold medal game.