McLaughlin-Levrone to focus on her best event, the 400 hurdles, at Olympic trials

LOS ANGELES — (AP) — Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone plans on defending her title in the 400-meter hurdles at the Paris Olympics, and has scratched from the 200 and 400-meter flat races that she had originally signed up for.

The world-record holder had been entered in all three races for this month's U.S. Olympic trials, but as of Tuesday, she was listed as a “scratch” in the 200 and 400.

Last month, McLaughlin-Levrone's coach, Bobby Kersee, hinted at the move, calling the hurdles her “No. 1 event.”

Then, later in May, McLaughlin-Levrone ran her first 400 hurdles race in nearly two years. She finished in a time of 52.70, which gave her the Olympic standard.

“My job is to make sure that she gets ready for the one that she wants to do the most," Kersee said.

Earlier this month, McLaughlin-Levrone ran a 400 flat in 48.75 seconds — the third fastest time in U.S. history.

This year, the 24-year-old has raced in five different events — the 100 and 400 hurdles, the 200 and 400 flat and the 4x100 relay. She also has an Olympic gold medal in the 4x400 relay.

Ever since winning at the Tokyo Olympics, she has hinted at switching events, and her intention has been a mystery to most track fans up until the last few weeks.

There was virtually no chance of her running in the 400 flat and hurdles because the schedules for those races overlap at the Olympics.

McLaughlin-Levrone first broke the world record at Olympic trials in 2021 and has lowered it three times since, most recently to 50.68 seconds at 2022 world championships in Eugene, Oregon — the site of the trials that begin Friday.

She was injured during last year's world championships, opening the door for Femke Bol of the Netherlands to take the title. Bol will be McLaughlin-Levrone's biggest challenger in Paris.

The first round of the 400 hurdles at trials is June 27.


AP Summer Olympics:

Comments on this article