Sydney McLaughlin, relay team gives Americans their 33rd medal at track world championships

EUGENE, Ore. – Sydney McLaughlin rode the final winning round of an all-American World Championship on Sunday by breaking away in the 4 x 400-meter relay to end a US breakaway and give the Americans their record 33rd medal of the meet.

McLaughlin turned a 0.73-second lead into a 2.93-second laugh on the anchor loop, adding that speed boost to the world record she set in the 400 hurdles two nights earlier.

Two more world records were set on Sunday – in the very first and very last action of the final session at Hayward Field.

Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan opened the evening by setting the 100m hurdles record in the semifinals: 12.12 seconds. She came back about 90 minutes later to win the gold medal. Her winning time was actually faster – 12.06 – but the wind was too strong for that mark to go off the books.

“When I looked at the record, I was like, ‘Whoa, who did that?'” Amusan said.

And after McLaughlin finished her final loop, pole vaulter Armand Duplantis of Sweden cleared 6.21 meters (20 feet, 4 1/2 inches) to improve his world record by 0.01.

He gave Sweden its first gold medal of the meet. That was 12 fewer than the Americans.

The last one was particularly sweet as it was also the 14th and final world gold for 36-year-old Allyson Felix, who came out of retirement to run in the preliminary round of 4×400 to win a medal. She ends her career with a record 20 world medals total.

“We’re a family, we stick together,” McLaughlin said. “Allyson came out of retirement to bring us here, so that’s what we wanted to do.”

The US won the women’s race in 3 minutes, 17.79 seconds.

The 33 medals were three more than the United States collected in 2017.

One of America’s gold pieces went to Athing Mu in the year 800.

She completed the two laps in 1:56.30 – a 0.08 lead over Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson. Now an Olympic and world champion at this distance, 20-year-old Mu is part of a bright future for the United States alongside McLaughlin.

In between, a sprinter named Champion – Champion Allison – led the men’s 4×400 to an easy win for medal #32.

Another medal went to US pole vaulter Christopher Nilsen, who cleared 5.94 meters (19 ft, 5 3/4 in) to win silver and then stepped aside to see what Duplantis would do.

The Olympic champion known as “Mondo” missed his first record attempt, then waited for the relay, then got the crowd clapping and clearing the bar.

Last year, the US men were banned from the sprints in Tokyo, leading to some questions about what was wrong.

Answer: Not much. Led by Fred Kerley and Noah Lyles, the men swept the sprints earlier in the week and Ryan Crouser led a sweep in the shot put. The 4×100 silver medal relay team was messy — nothing new — but it was a blip.

Overall, the men actually won four more medals than the women during this 10-day event.

“Our team is focused on supporting our athletes and the coaches,” said Max Siegel, CEO of USA Track and Field. “It’s about putting together the basic programs for them and really working hand-in-hand with all the personal coaches.”

The decathlon champion is Kevin Mayer of France, adding this to his 2017 title.

And the 5,000m title went to Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway, who finished a special in 13:09.24.

That was the last race Oregon legend Steve Prefontaine ran before a fatal car accident in Eugene.

It’s a city full of homages to “Pre,” and in many ways track’s greatest event, the World Championships, ended in this college town of 170,000 for laying tracks half a century ago.

“It’s probably the best place I could have won,” said Ingebrigtsen. Sydney McLaughlin, relay team gives Americans their 33rd medal at track world championships

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