DOHA, QATAR -- Union Catholic graduate Sydney McLaughlin became the second fastest woman to ever run the 400-meter hurdles on Friday, but it wasn't quite fast enough to knock off her nemesis at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships.
In the greatest women's 400 hurdles race ever run, McLaughlin, a 2017 graduate of Union Catholic, was closing on fellow American Dalilah Muhammad as the two approached the finish line. But Muhammad was able to hold off the 20-year-old McLaughlin to finish first with a stunning world record time of 52.16. McLaughlin was second in 52.23, which is the third fastest time ever run and makes her the second fastest woman ever behind Muhammad, who starred at Benjamin Cardozo High in New York.
This is just the second loss for McLaughlin since turning pro in June of 2018 after she completed her freshman year at the University of Kentucky, where she set the NCAA 400 hurdle record of 52.75 and captured that race at the NCAA Championships. In both of those losses, it took a world record performance from Muhammad to beat McLaughlin.
The 29-year-old Muhammad, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in Rio in the 400 hurdles, first broke the 15-year-old world record when she won the USATF Outdoor Championships in 52.20 on July 28 in Des Moines, Iowa. McLaughlin was second in 52.88.
McLaughlin, the world junior record holder, got the better of Muhammad in the Diamond League, beating her twice en route to becoming the youngest to ever be crowned champion of the 400 hurdles in the DL. In the final, McLaughlin won in 52.85 as she blasted away from runner-up Shamier Little while Muhammad faded to third.
McLaughlin, considered by many to be the greatest female track and field athlete in U.S. high school history, turned the track and field world upside down when she made the U.S. Olympic team in 2016 at the age of 16, and then became the youngest track and field athlete in 44 years to compete for the U.S. team in the Olympics.
In July of 2018, McLaughlin signed with talent agency WME (William Morris Endeavor) and then inked a deal with New Balance in October of 2019. A month later, McLaughlin announced that she would be coached by Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes. Hayes won the Olympic gold in the 100 hurdles in 2004.
Since then, McLaughlin has lived and trained in Los Angeles and has rapidly become one of the biggest global stars in the sport.