2019 Des Moines Diary, Day 4: Dalailah Muhammed, on a rainy, wet track, sets WR 52.20!


The track was wet and slippery. As a former coach, I remember one of my athletes hitting a hurdle head on, in a rainy northern California meet, and knocked out cold, needing smelling salts to wake up. It scared me to my core.

I had a bit of trepedation watching the field line up in the 400m hurdles. How fast would Sydney McLaughlin go? She had already defeated Dalailah Muhammad. With a 53.32 WL, it was only a matter of time before Sydney let er rip, and chase the WR (at least that is what I suggested in last week's podcast).

Muhammad_DalilahFH-USAout19.JPgDalailah Muhammed setting WR 52.20 at 400m hurdles, photo by PhotoRun.net

Well, Dalailah Muhammed had other ideas. Getting out hard, Dalailah made up the stagger quickly. She was not running fast, Ms. Muhammed was running ferociously. Clean hurdle clearance after clean hurdle clearance, and a screaming turn, Muhammed hit the 300m mark in the lead. Sydney McLaughlin had run conservatively, and was fighting to get into the race.

Muhammad_DalilahFH1-USAout19.JPgDalailah Muhammed, fast and furious, 52.20 WR 400m Hurdles, photo by photorun.net

As I watched Dalialah Muhammed roar down the track, it became apparent that something special was a foot. When the clock showed 52.17, then updated to 52.20, I knew the 2003 WR of Yuliya Petochkina at 52.34 was gone. I had been at the previous WR, in Gothenburg in 1995, when Kim Batten and Tonja Buford-Bailey took down Sally Gunnell's WR. McLaughlin ran 52.88, not a PB but close.

Muhammed_DalilahFHL-USAout19.JPgDalailah Muhammed, focused, one stride at a time, photo by PhotoRun.net

On Monday, July 29 BBC World Service asked me if we should just give Dalailah Muhammed the 400m H gold medal. I was a bit, well, apprehensive. I think that Ms. Muhammed may have just motivated Sydney McLaughlin a bit more.

The thing is, Dalailah Muhammed is not going to give up an inch, and she has the skills, fitness and talent to dominate the event the rest of 2019 and 2020. It Sydney McLaughlin, or anyone else wants the title, they will have to take it from her. This event is going to be, well, EPIC!

to be continued....

Muhammad gets 52.20 WR

Muhammed_DalilahFHL1-USAout19.JPgDalailah Muhammed, making historyr, 52.20 WR 400m hurdles, photo by PhotoRun.net

DES MOINES (USA, Jul 28): Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad broke Yulia Pechonkina's world record in the 400m hurdles on the fourth day of the US Championships, improving the record which had stood since 2003 from 52.34 to 52.20. Sydney McLaughlin was second in 52.88 with Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Spencer third, equalling her PB with 53.11. Fourth Shamier Little with 53.91 will be the best no Doha hurdler from the global scene in this event. Noah Lyles beat Christian Coleman in the 200m, 19.78 (-0.7) to 20.02, third for Doha could be Ameer Webb 20.45 but has no standard. Kenny Bednarek (20.07 in semifinals) was out of contention due to hamstring injury. Dezerea Bryant won the women's 200m title in 22.47 (-1.2) from Brittany Brown (22.61) and NCAA champion Angie Annelus (22.71) and Daniel Roberts won the 110m hurdles final in 13.23 (-0.8) from Grant Holloway in 13.36 and Devon Allen 13.38, out of the team by 0.01 is fourth Freddie Crittenden 13.39. Lopez Lomong completed the 5000/10,000m double with victory in the men's 5000m final in 13:25.53 (53.35 last lap, but missing the standard) ahead of Paul Chelimo (13:25.80). Third Woody Kincaid 13:26.84 PB no standard, but fourth Hassan Mead 13:28.04 has it. Shelby Houlihan completed the 1500/5000m double, winning the 5000m in 15:15.50 (63.57 last lap) from Karissa Schweizer in 15:17.03 and third Elinor Purrier 15:17.46 with Shannon Rowbury 6th 15:25.40. Ajee' Wilson won the 800m title from the front in 1:57.72 ahead of Hanna Green (1:58.19 PB) and Raevyn Rogers (1:58.84) and Donavan Brazier produced splits of 55.00/50.62 to win the men's 800m in 1:45.62 from Clayton Murphy in 1:46.01, third qualifier is Bryce Hoppel 1:46.31. In the men's 1500m, Craig Engels produced a 51.92 last lap to win the 1500m in 3:44.93 ahead of Olympic champion Matt Centrowitz in 3:44.97, third Josh Thompson 3:45.25 has no standard, but fourth Ben Blankenship 3:45.60 is ok on that. Erica Bougard also won a high quality heptathlon with 6663 points ahead of Kendell Williams (6610, PB) with Chari Hawkins taking the third spot with a PB of 6230 points, but no standard. In field events, Sandi Morris cleared 4.85m to win the pole vault from Katie Nageotte (4.80m) and Jenn Suhr (4.70m), Chase Ealey defeated Olympic champion Michelle Carter in the shot put, 19.56 to 18.69, third sport for Maggie Ewen 18.44 and Valarie Allman won a good quality discus with 64.34m from Kelsey Card (63.33m) and Laulaga Tausaga 62.08. Elsewhere, Jeron Robinson cleared 2.30m to win the high jump on countback from Shelby McEwen (PB outdoors), third Jonathan Wells 224 no standard and Ja'Mari Ward won the long jump with 8.12 (+1.2, missing the standard) over Will Claye 806 (+1.7) and Trumaine Jefferson 802 (+1.0), Olympic winner Jeff Henderson was only 5th 800. World champion Emma Coburn won her event in 9:25.63 and so next three can also go, Courtney Frerichs 9:26.61, Colleen Quigley 9:30.97 and Allie Ostrander 9:38.52.

Muhammad_DalilahWR-USAout19.JPgDalailah Muhammed, 52.20 WR 400m hurdles, 28 July 2019, photo by PhotoRun.net

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