- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
American runner Sydney McLaughlin has left the athletics world in shock after obliterating her own 400m hurdles world record with the first sub-51 second time in the event's history.
The 22-year-old obliterated the field in Oregon on Friday to set the first world record of the meet with an insane time of 50.68 - lowering her mark by a whopping 0.73 seconds.
'HEARTBROKEN': Aussie runner's devastating news at world titles
It marked the fourth-straight major race in which McLaughlin has bettered her own world record and the first time a female runner has gone under 51 seconds in the event.
"It's unreal,” McLaughlin said in the post-race interview on the track.
Femke Bol of the Netherlands finished second in 52.27 - a staggering 1.59 seconds behind McLaughlin - and defending world champion Dalilah Muhammad finished third in 53.13 - a time that would've won the race a mere seven years ago.
McLaughin left Bol and Muhammad behind by the 150m mark and was only racing the clock as she motored down the final straight.
When she finished, she bent to the ground, looked at the scoreboard and said: “That’s great, that's great.”
She clutched her knees and smiled as the mascot - Legend the Bigfoot - photobombed her while holding a sign saying: “World records are my favourite food.”
“Honestly, I just wanted to run and go for it,” she said of the record and a $100,000 prize for breaking it. “That last 100 really hurt.“
The 400m hurdles record had sat on the books for 16 years before Muhammad lowered it to 52.20 at the US championships in Iowa in 2019.
Since then, either McLaughlin or Muhammad have broken it at every major meet - Muhammad at the 2019 worlds (52.16), then McLaughlin at last year’s Olympic trials (51.90), the Olympics (51.46), US nationals this year (51.41), and now this.
Incredibly, McLaughlin's time of 50.68 is the 19th-fastest this year in the 400m without hurdles.
It would have been good for seventh place in the women's 400m final on Friday night.
Sydney McLaughlin is the 🐐
She dropped her world record by eight-tenths. Absurd.
No one was near her.
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) July 23, 2022
Sydney McLaughlin ran the 19th fastest 400m time in the world this year…over hurdles
— Kyle Merber (@TheRealMerb) July 23, 2022
Sydney McLaughlin’s NEW WORLD RECORD of 50.68 would’ve placed 7th in the open 400 meters.
Sydney ran 50.68 in the 400 meters with 10 hurdles in front of her. May we never take her for granted. @TeamUSA
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) July 23, 2022
There’s record-breaking and then there’s record SHATTERING.
@gosydgo breaks the 400m hurdles world record for the FOURTH time in two years by an astonishing 0.73 seconds, becoming the first woman ever under 51 seconds with her 50.68 victory.
📸: @jzsnapz pic.twitter.com/L32Vlwl7ph
— CITIUS MAG (@CitiusMag) July 23, 2022
— Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo (@Fentuo_) July 23, 2022
50.68!?! for 400m...over hurdles! Absolutely insane!
Sydney Mclaughlin smashes her own World Record.
How crazy is that?
That would have placed her 7th in the flat 400m...
— Steve Magness (@stevemagness) July 23, 2022
It took 33 years to lower the 400m hurdles record by .78 seconds, from 52.94 to 52.16.
Sydney McLaughlin has lowered it by 1.48 seconds in 13 months and lowered it by .73 seconds tonight alone. https://t.co/S2izCGl0he pic.twitter.com/SmWpbIQvwR
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) July 23, 2022
Kelsey-Lee Barber wins historic gold in javelin
Elsewhere on Friday night, Australian javelin superstar Kelsey-Lee Barber joined the great Cathy Freeman as the only Australians to successfully defend a world athletics title.
Barber further embellished her reputation as a supreme big-event competitor at Hayward Field with a huge third-round throw of 66.91 metres.
The 30-year-old Barber has won medals at each of her past three major championships - world gold in 2019 and 2022, as well as bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
Three years ago in Doha, she clinched gold with her final throw in dramatic style.
This time it happened much earlier in the competition.
Barber's winning throw was more than two-and-a half metres better than American Kara Winger's silver-medal effort of 64.05m.
Haruka Kitaguchi from Japan was third with 63.27m, while Australia's Mackenzie Little was fifth with a PB of 63.22m.
The gold medal made Barber the first woman in athletics history to successful defend a world javelin title and just the second Australian to defend any world athletics title.
Freeman won back-to-back 400m gold medals in 1997 and 1999.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.