There was no doubt the women’s 400m Hurdles final at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, was going to be a stiff contest between USA’s duo of Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, but the World Record going tonight was a major doubt.
Muhammad in July ran a then World Record (WR) of 52.20s at the USA National Championships in Des Moines, and it looked like she had given her best for the season, with McLaughlin just coming behind her for second place then.
However, both athletes stunned the world on Friday, replicating the performance from two months ago, this time with much faster times. McLaughlin chased down Muhammad, but the latter had enough to secure another breathtaking WR to win GOLD.
McLaughlin who had to settle for Silver in the race, did so running a massive Personal Best (PB) of 52.23s, and Rushell Clayton who got the Bronze, also ran a PB of 53.74s, while Lea Sprunger who finished 4th, ran a new Swiss Record of 54.06s.
If there was anyone who could stop Muhammad, it is McLaughlin, with the younger American denying her compatriot a chance to win the Diamond League trophy when they met in Zurich.
During the rounds in Doha, they both looked smooth through the heats with McLaughlin advancing on top of her semifinal in 53.81s and Muhammad also winning hers in 53.91s.
Muhammad was the first to strike in the opening part of the race as she went out hard with her compatriot, just on her inside. Muhammad held a slight lead over the field as they came off the final turn but McLaughlin wasn’t to let go.
Off the final the barrier, Muhammad held her form nicely as she powered to her first ever world title, adding to her Olympic title from Rio, and now cementing her legendary status in Athletics.