Report01 Jun 2024

McLaughlin-Levrone sets world lead on 400m hurdles return in Atlanta


Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (© Getty Images)

Olympic champion and world record-holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone set a world lead of 52.70 to win her first 400m hurdles race in almost 22 months at the Edwin Moses Legends Meet, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver event, in Atlanta on Friday (31).

After focusing on the 400m flat in 2023 and missing the World Championships through injury, the 24-year-old returned to her specialist event for the first time since August 2022 and recorded the ninth fastest time of her career. Her 52.70 is the quickest time in the world so far this year, with world champion Femke Bol set to run her 400m hurdles season opener at the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday. 

“It's a progression,” McLaughlin-Levrone said in her trackside interview. “Shaking the rust off after two years, I’ll take a 52.7. Things to work on, we haven’t had much hurdle practice, so there’s a lot to improve.”

In second place, 17-year-old Michelle Smith set a Virgin Islands record of 55.96.

In other hurdles action, Olympic silver medallist Kendra Harrison won a close 100m hurdles race in 12.60 (0.2m/s) ahead of Michelle Atherley (12.63 PB) and Christina Clemons (12.65).

Quanera Hayes held off Kendall Ellis to win the 400m, 50.88 to 51.05, while Christopher Bailey dipped under 45 seconds for the second time in his career, winning the men’s race in a PB of 44.42.

Tamara Clark pipped Celera Barnes in the 100m, clocking 11.04 (0.8m/s) to win by 0.04, and Audrey Leduc overpowered Tamari Davis to win the 200m in a Canadian record of 22.36 (1.1m/s) to 22.39. Pjai Austin took the men’s 100m in 10.03 (-0.9m/s) ahead of Ronnie Baker with 10.15, while Terrance Laird won the 200m in 20.30 (0.6m/s).

Heather MacLean and Sam Prakel judged their kicks to perfection to win their 1500m races, MacLean clocking 4:02.64 and Prakel 3:35.73.

The 2016 world indoor champion Vashti Cunningham cleared 1.90m to win the high jump.