Dalilah Muhammad was driven every step of the way to improving her women’s 400m hurdles world record here tonight as she won gold in 52.16, a couple of pounding heartbeats ahead of her 20-year-old US rival Sydney McLaughlin.
The latter was rewarded with silver in 52.23 – just three hundredths of a second off Muhammad’s original record – after a performance that hinted at riches to come in future years.
“This means so much,” said Muhammad, the 29-year-old Olympic champion who, at the US Championships in Des Moines, bettered the 2003 world record of 52.34 set by Russia’s Yulia Pechonkina, recording a time of 52.20.
“It’s difficult to describe. I just wanted the world title so much but to break the world record again I fantastic.
“I just decided to go for it from the start and I felt Sydney coming at me around hurdle nine. Then I just gave it everything I’d got. It hasn’t really sunk in yet but it feels good.”
McLaughlin commented: “I knew it would be fast but I didn’t think it would be that fast. I did everything I could and at least US got one-two. I gave it everything I had, I’m still young, and every day is a new experience for me.”
There had been echoes in this match-up of the women’s 400m final of the previous night, with the 29-year-old Muhammad facing a youthful threat as Rio 2016 champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo had with Salwa Eid Naser.
China International Women’s Match Race
photo Getty Images
Tang Xijing (CHN) and bronze medallist Angelina Melnikova (RUS).
local Dakhla resident stormed to the top of yesterday's women's Kite-Surf single elimination