Dalilah Muhammad Breaks Her Own World Record in the 400-Meter Hurdles – The New York Times

Posted: October 7, 2019 at 9:46 am

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DOHA, Qatar Dalilah Muhammad had no idea whether she had even won when she crossed the finish line on Friday night at Khalifa International Stadium. She had to look at the scoreboard to learn the results, she said, and it was only then that she realized what she had accomplished.

Muhammad, 29, had not only won the womens 400-meter hurdles title at the track and field world championships she had broken her own world record, too.

It feels good to have it come together when it matters most, she said.

Muhammad held off Sydney McLaughlin, her young American challenger, in the final meters to win in 52.16 seconds, four hundredths of a second better than the world record she had set in July at the United States championships. McLaughlin, 20, was runner-up in 52.23, which was a personal best and the third-fastest time ever.

Shes amazing, McLaughlin said of Muhammad, who grew up in Queens. Shes been doing this a long time, and Im just constantly trying to learn from her.

It has been an eventful couple of months for Muhammad, the reigning Olympic champion. A few weeks after her record run in July, she was soundly defeated by McLaughlin in Zurich.

Muhammad returned to California, where she lives and trains, and acknowledged that she was struggling with her mental approach ahead of the world championships. The world record had been on her mind for so long, she said, and she was wondering what she could find to motivate herself moving forward.

If nothing else, Muhammad wanted to claim her first world title after finishing second in 2013 and 2017. And there was the looming threat posed by McLaughlin, who may have more pure speed and appears primed to be the future of the event.

On Friday, though, Muhammad showed that the future is not now, even as she continued to dismiss the suggestion that she and McLaughlin have a rivalry.

I dont focus on Sydney or anyone else in the field, Muhammad said. I just try to focus on me and the finish line.

Muhammad and McLaughlin were the clear class of the field. Rushell Clayton of Jamaica finished third in 53.74, over a second and a half behind McLaughlin.

Muhammad earned a $100,000 performance bonus for setting a world record, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations.

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Dalilah Muhammad Breaks Her Own World Record in the 400-Meter Hurdles - The New York Times

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October 7th, 2019 at 9:46 am