Former Kentucky track and field superstar Sydney McLaughlin begins her road to the Tokyo Olympics today.
Competing in arguably the strongest track and field event, the 400m Hurdles, the 21-year-old star is set to make her debut in this year’s Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. She’ll start today with a first-round run at 6:35 p.m. ET, which will be televised on NBC Sports Network. From there, she’ll run in the semifinals on Saturday, June 26 at 9:19 p.m. on NBC, followed by the event final on Sunday, June 27 at 7:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
The United States will feature the six fastest women in this Olympic cycle, with four entered at Trials. McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad, widely seen as the two fastest women in history, are the event headliners. Muhammad won Gold in the 2016 Olympics – McLaughlin earned Bronze at 16 years old – and Gold at the 2016 Worlds.
The former Wildcat recently set the world-best time earlier in June by winning the 400m Hurdles in 52.83 seconds at the Music City Track Carnival in Nashville, Tennessee, solidifying herself as the favorite in the Trials, and later, the Tokyo Olympics. As of today, McLaughlin (52.83) serves as the 2021 U.S. leader in the event, followed by Shamier Little (53.12), Muhammad (54.50) and Anna Cockrell (54.68).
In her time at UK, McLaughlin shattered every school record and broke countless collegiate records, most notably by running away with the 400m Hurdle title at the NCAA Championships with a final time of 53.96 — she’s since topped that number by 1.13 seconds.
Sydney McLaughlin runs away with the 400m Hurdles championship. The most dominant athlete in Kentucky history. pic.twitter.com/BFWWG8UfeI
— Sam Gormley (@GormleyKSR) June 10, 2018
Outside of McLaughlin, UK Athletics Hall of Famer Keni Harrison (100M Hurdles) and former Wildcat Javianne Oliver (100M) have also punched their Olympic tickets and will represent the school in Tokyo.
The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin Friday, July 23 and end Sunday, August 8.