Campus News

UK Alumna Sydney McLaughlin Wins Olympic Gold in World Record Time

photo of Sydney McLaughlin running hurdles for UK in SEC competition
n one season at UK, Sydney McLaughlin was the 2018 NCAA Champion in the 400m hurdles and SEC Champion in the 400m dash (indoor), 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay.  Photo by UK Athletics.

TOKYO (Aug. 4, 2021) — University of Kentucky track and field alumna Sydney McLaughlin of Team USA won gold in the Olympic 400-meter hurdles with a new world record of 51.46. 

The previous world record also belonged to McLaughlin after she ran 51.90 at U.S. Olympic Team Trials. 

"Just trust in the process, giving the glory to God," McLaughlin told NBC's Lewis Johnson. 

"It's all the season, hard work, dedication, and just really grateful to be able to represent my country and just have this opportunity."

The Wildcat from Dunellen, New Jersey, finished with the fastest time of semifinals with a time of 53.03, closely followed by Team USA teammate Dellilah Muhammad, who went on to win the silver medal. 

"Is this the example of iron sharpening iron?" Johnson asked. 

"100%," McLaughlin responded. 

McLaughlin ran for UK in the 2017-18 season before becoming a professional runner. In one season at UK, she was the 2018 NCAA Champion in the 400m hurdles and SEC Champion in the 400m dash (indoor), 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay. 

She was also a five-time All-American, collegiate record-holder in the 400m hurdles (52.75) and finalist for the Bowerman Award.  Prior to running for UK, McLaughlin ran in the Rio 2016 Olympics. 

McLaughlin's gold medal-winning performance joined two more UK track and field alumnae who have won medals in Tokyo, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and Keni Harrison

Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico ran an Olympic record in the 100m hurdles for the gold medal, closely followed by Team USA's Harrison for silver. 

Daniel Roberts of Team USA ran about 30 minutes before McLaughlin, placing fifth in his semifinal heat of the 110m hurdles. He will not advance to the final. 

Follow along with UK Track and Field on FacebookInstagramTwitter and at https://UKathletics.com

Read more on all 22 Wildcats competing in the delayed 2020 Olympics here.  

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.