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A Runner Who Continues to Improve

By: Reese Yan

Sydney Michelle McLaughlin is an American hurdler and sprinter who is the world record holder in the 400-meter hurdle. McLaughlin is also a 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist. When she was fifteen years old, she was the 2015 World youth champion. In 2016, McLaughlin was the youngest athlete since 1980 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic track team.

During the past few years, she has continued to improve and train. Now, she's setting world records and setting history. For instance, she broke the world record for the fourth time in two years by finishing in 50.68 seconds. Second place was Femke Bol of the Netherlands with 52.27 seconds, and Dalilah Muhammad was third with 53.13 seconds. Sydney McLaughlin also trimmed 0.73 seconds off her previous world record she set 27 days earlier at the U.S. championships.

She has been undefeated in the 400-meter hurdles since 2019 when she placed second to Muhammad at the world championships in Doha. After McLaughlin placed second, Muhammad knew that McLaughlin was going to become a better athlete than herself. Muhammad who used to own the world record was soon to be overstepped by McLaughlin. “I was kind of nervous, honestly, going into this meet, not knowing where my fitness level would be,” Muhammad said. “So to get a medal shows my resilience as an athlete.”

McLaughlin set many world records, yet she still believes there’s more room for improvement. “I think we’re all figuring out that, yes, there are 10 barriers, but we can run them a lot faster than people think,” she said, adding: “I still think that wasn’t even a super clean race.”

McLaughlin is a world record setter. Even though sometimes she fails, she never gives up! When she does set world records, she believes there can be more improvement, and that type of spirit is what anyone should have. I believe if she continues her hard work, she will set even more world records.

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