Ex-Cats

Former Kentucky track star McLaughlin claims international trophy plus a huge payday

UK track sensation Sydney McLaughlin wants to be ‘one of the world’s best’

Freshman Sydney McLaughlin came to Kentucky with Olympic experience and a world record already beside her name. In her time with the Wildcats, she looks to refine her talent with the help of coach Edrick Floréal.
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Freshman Sydney McLaughlin came to Kentucky with Olympic experience and a world record already beside her name. In her time with the Wildcats, she looks to refine her talent with the help of coach Edrick Floréal.

Former University of Kentucky track star Sydney McLaughlin made national waves during her phenomenal one-year run with the Wildcats. Now, she’s turning heads on the international stage.

McLaughlin, 20, bested a talented field to win the 400-meter hurdles at the Diamond League finals in Zurich, Switzerland, on Thursday, beating out the event’s world record holder. With the victory, her first in a Diamond League finals race, McLaughlin secured a spot in next month’s world championships in Qatar along with a $50,000 prize.

Team USA swept all three podium spots in the event. McLaughlin pulled away early and won with a time of :52.85 seconds, more than a full second ahead of second-place Shamier Little, the 2015 world silver medalist. It’s McLaughlin’s second-fastest finish in the 400. She broke the collegiate record with a time of :52.75 to win the Southeastern Conference title as a freshman.

“We have a great team in the USA,” McLaughlin said after Thursday’s race. “I am absolutely shocked and amazed.”

Finishing third with a time of :54.13 was Dalilah Muhammad, who won gold in the event in the 2016 Olympic Games and set the world record time of :52.20 at this year’s U.S. Championships. McLaughlin finished second in that race.

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Josh Sullivan has worked at the Herald-Leader for more than 10 years in multiple capacities, including as a news assistant, page designer, copy editor and sports reporter. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Lexington native.
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