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Although Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is only 23 years old, she is one of the greatest 400-meter hurdlers in track and field history. She may already be the greatest 400-meter hurdler of all-time.
McLaughlin-Levrone, who is the reigning world champion and Olympic gold medalist in the discipline, holds six of the seven fastest times in the event. She consistently leaves her competition in the dust. Nobody can touch her!
As dominant as she is in the 400-meter hurdles, McLaughlin-Levrone will not be defending her world title next month. She is tossing the hurdles aside in pursuit of history, for now.
McLaughlin-Levrone will run only the 400-meter flat at the World Athletics Championship in Budapest. Her coach, Bobby Kersee, confirmed the plan last week.
Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone wants to add to her resume.
The reigning world champion always receives an automatic invite to compete in their event the following year. Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone qualified for the 400-meter hurdles in 2023.
In turn, she did not have to run the hurdles at the U.S. Championships and ran the 400 flat instead.
McLaughlin-Levrone’s first 400-meter race went poorly. Her second race went better than the first, but it was still not what she wanted.
Her third race, to claim a national title in Eugene earlier this month, was the best. It wasn’t even close.
Even still, McLaughlin-Levrone was disappointed to miss the American record by .05 of a second.
Dissatisfaction aside, the American superstar qualified for Worlds with the win. She gave herself the opportunity to run both the 400-meter hurdles and 400-meter flat.
However, McLaughlin-Levrone will only run the latter.
The 400-meter hurdles heats start two hours and 20 minutes before the 400-meter semifinals. It would not be possible to be at her best in both events because of the schedule.
Thus, it is the 400-meter flat that will get her undivided attention. McLaughlin-Levrone, who is so dominant in the hurdles that she got bored and wanted to mix things up, will try to become the first man or woman to win a World Championships medal in both the flat 400-meter and the 400-meter hurdles.
Nobody has done it before and McLaughlin-Levrone expects to make history. For her not to medal in the 400-meter next month is possible, but it would be a huge shock.
How about that?! McLaughlin-Levrone is so good at her event that she is trying something completely new in an effort to put her name in the books, again. All eyes will be on her feat in just a few weeks when Worlds begin Aug. 19.