Sydney McLaughlin anchors US on record-setting day at worlds

Eddie Pells
Associated Press

Eugene, Ore — Sydney McLaughlin took the last victorious lap of an All-American world championships Sunday, pulling away in the 4x400-meter relay to close a U.S. runaway and give the Americans their record 33rd medal of the meet.

McLaughlin turned a .73-second lead into a 2.93-second runaway on the anchor lap, adding this burst of speed to the world record she set two nights earlier in the 400 hurdles.

Two more world records went down Sunday — in the very first and very last action of the last session at Hayward Field.

Nigeria's Tobi Amusan opened the evening by setting the record for the 100-meter hurdles 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, so that mark doesn’t go in the books.

And after McLaughlin was done with her last lap, pole vaulter Armand Duplantis of Sweden cleared 6.21 meters (20 feet, 4 1/2 inches) to best his world record by .01.

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

The last was especially sweet, as it also marked the 14th and final world gold for 36-year-old Allyson Felix, who came out of retirement to run in the preliminary of the 4x400 and, so, gets a medal. She finishes her career with a record 20 world medals, overall.

“We're a family, we stick together,” McLaughlin said. “Allyson came out of retirement to get us here, so we wanted to do this.”

The U.S. won the women's race in 3 minutes, 17.79 seconds.

The 33 medals was three more than the U.S. collected in 2017.

One of America’s golds went to Athing Mu in the 800.

She busted through the two laps in 1:56.30 — a .08 margin over Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson. The 20-year-old Mu is now the Olympic and world champion at that distance and, along with McLaughlin, part of a bright future for the United States.

In between, a sprinter named Champion — Champion Allison — anchored the men’s 4x400 to an easy win for medal No. 32.

Another medal went to U.S. pole vaulter Christopher Nilsen, who cleared 5.94 meters (19 feet, 5 3/4 inches), to clinch silver, then stepped aside to see what Duplantis would do.

The Olympic champion known as “Mondo” missed on his first attempt at the record, then waited for the relay, then got the crowd clapping in rhythm for him and cleared the bar.