© Copyright – 2022 – Athletics Illustrated

American Sydney McLaughlin raced the women’s 400m hurdles in a world record time on Friday, finishing in 50.68 seconds. It was the most dominant win of the 2022 World Athletics Championships.

Femke Bol came from behind to pass Dellilah Muhammed to take silver in the time of 52.27 seconds in a season-best performance for the Dutch athlete. American Muhammad finished in the time of 53.13 to take bronze.

Upon finishing, the 22-year-old gold medallist sat on the track and took it all in. But she didn’t cry. When the Legend of Bigfoot mascot came to her to get her to celebrate, she only smiled. When the stars and stripes flag was draped over her shoulder, McLaughlin could only sullenly walk over to the trackside display that showed her name, time, and position for photo posterity. She worked up a smile.

Why so sullen?

In great contrast, the three medallists in the women’s javelin were so happy, that all three hugged each other multiple times. Kara Winger, the first American woman to win a javelin medal at a world championships ran a lap of the track with the flag. She cried. Gold medallist Kelsey-Lee Barber from Australia cried. Even bronze medallist Haruka Kitaguchi from Japan cried and joined in the hugging and flag waving. It was the most joyful display. Even Canadian Liz Gleadle who finished ninth in the final was smiling and hugging fellow athletes.

The three threw for 66.91m, 64.05m, and 63.27m, respectively — no world records.

McLaughlin sat on the track alone. The difference was so stark, one may wonder just what is up. There is no telling at this point, but her gold medal and world record-setting performance was one for the ages. It is nearly up there with Usain Bolt’s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds. it is — wait for it — better than Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:01:39 marathon world record and almost identical to Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 10.49 100m world record.

According to the World Athletics performance rating system, Griffith-Joyner’s world record from 1988 carries a rating of 1314. McLaughlin’s is 1312. Bolts is a bit more of an outlier at 1356 points. Kipchoge’s legendary marathon is just worth 1304 points.

In fairness, the points performance system isn’t perfect.

McLaughlin was faster in the 400m hurdles than two of the finalists in the women’s 400m event without hurdles. The Bob Kersee-coached athlete would have finished as the sixth-fastest in the regular 400m.

Women’s 400m Final

2Marileidy PAULINODOM49.60
4Lieke KLAVERNED50.33
5Stephenie Ann MCPHERSONJAM50.36
6Fiordaliza COFILDOM50.57
7Candice MCLEODJAM50.78

Women’s 400m Hurdles Final

2Femke BOLNED52.27 =SB
3Dalilah MUHAMMADUSA53.13 SB
4Shamier LITTLEUSA53.76
5Britton WILSONUSA54.02
6Rushell CLAYTONJAM54.36
7Gianna WOODRUFFPAN54.75

Athletes coached by Bob Kersee

Bob Kersee has had tremendous success coaching professionals and at the university level.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Dawn Harper
Sha-ri Pendleton
Valerie Brisco-Hooks
Gail Devers
Greg Foster
Andre Phillips
Jerome Bettis
Ty Law
Allyson Felix
Shawn Crawford
Andrea Anderson
Sherri Howard
Jeanette Bolden
Nicole Leach
Florence Griffith Joyner
Michelle Perry
Ginnie Crawford (née Powell)
Kerron Clement
Joanna Hayes
Kori Carter
Sydney McLaughlin