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Sydney McLaughlin, 19, Bests A-List Field To Claim Win At Diamond League Debut

By Karen Price | June 13, 2019, 5:53 p.m. (ET)

Sydney McLaughlin after competing at the IAAF Diamond League on June 13, 2019 in Oslo, Norway.


Sydney McLaughlin’s star rose just a little higher on Thursday when she capped off her Diamond League 400-meter hurdles debut with a win over U.S. teammate and defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad in Oslo, Norway.

The 19-year-old Olympian faced a field of her own dominant U.S. teammates, including Muhammad as well as 2017 world champion Kori Carter and 2015 world silver medalist Shamier Little. 

Muhammad held a big lead with 150 meters to go, and although McLaughlin passed Carter and Little she still trailed Muhammad going into the last hurdle. The teenager made a burst toward the line, however, and her late speed got her across in 54.16 seconds.

It was a little shy of Muhammad’s world-leading time of 53.61 set in early May in Doha, Qatar, but fast enough to edge both Muhammad, who was second in 54.35 seconds, and Little, who finished third in 54.92. Carter was fourth with a time of 55.67 seconds. 

“I've got to work on my first half of the race,” said McLaughlin, who made her Olympic debut at age 17 in 2016 and turned pro last summer after one season at Kentucky. “The second half is always my strongest. It was a really great field and exciting to be a part of. It wasn't the cleanest race for me, but I came back strong and that shows me where I am fitness-wise.” 

It was a dominating day overall for the U.S. women in the hurdles.

In the 100-meter hurdles, Christina Clemons claimed the victory with a time of 12.69 seconds to set up a 1-2 finish with Sharika Nelvis on her heels with a time of 12.74 seconds. Olympic champion Brianna McNeal was hit with a false start. 

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 Christian Coleman returned to the Diamond League track for his second go at the men's 100-meter this year, and the results were eye-popping.

The defending Diamond League champion at the distance ran it in 9.85 seconds, shaving a fraction off Noah Lyle’s time of 9.86 in Shanghai last month to mark a new world lead and take the victory. With Lyles missing from the field, there was no photo finish as there was in last month’s meeting, which Lyles won by 0.006 seconds, and no next chapter in what’s become an intriguing rivalry between the two top sprinters. This time the next closest finished to Coleman was China’s Zhenye Xie, who finished in 10.01 seconds. Coleman’s U.S. teammate Michael Rodgers was third with a time of 10.04 seconds. 

In the men’s pole vault, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 world champion Sam Kendricks earned his third Diamond League victory of the season and equaled a season’s best vault of 5.91 meters. Poland’s Piotr Lisek was second and Cole Walsh of the U.S. was third, each finishing at 5.81 meters.

Other U.S. athletes who took top-three finishes included Chase Ealey in the women’s shot put, who followed up her win in Shanghai with a second-place finish and a best throw of 19.20 meters, as well as Olympian Keturah Orji, who was second in the women’s triple jump with a distance of 14.53 meters. Olympian Jenna Prandini finished third in the women’s 200-meter with a time of 23.10 seconds.

Diamond League fans have a short wait for the next competition, as the series continues with another meet Sunday in Rabat, Morocco.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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