The world records set by Yulimar Rojas, Karsten Warholm and Sydney McLaughlin to win Olympic gold at the Tokyo Olympics have been ratified.
History was made in the women’s triple jump, men’s 400m hurdles and women’s 400m hurdles over the course of four days at the Tokyo Olympics. Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, Norway’s Karsten Warholm and the USA’s Sydney McLaughlin each took their events to another level.
Soaring out to an incredible 15.67m, the 25-year-old secured Yulimar Rojas Venezuela’s first medal at the Olympics in athletics.
The two-time world champion had opened her campaign with an Olympic triple jump record of 15.41m. By the time she lined up for her final effort, Rojas’ victory was guaranteed.
She sailed even further to add 17 centimeters to the previous world record on her last attempt. Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets had set the previous record on 10 August 1995 at the World Championships in Gothenburg.
Yulimar Rojas said it was an incredible feeling to win gold at the Olympics, with a record. She said:
“I am lost for words; I can’t describe this feeling and this moment. A gold medal winner, with an Olympic record, and a world record. It was a fantastic night.”
Olympics record in 400m hurdles
Two days later it was Warholm’s turn to break another world record. He smashed the 400m hurdles world record in 45.94 to win one of the most highly anticipated showdowns of the Tokyo Olympics.
Leading the highest quality men's 400m hurdles race in history, the 25-year-old won gold ahead of USA's Rai Benjamin. Benjamin's 46.17s time for silver also beat the previous world record of 46.70 which had been set by Warholm in Oslo on 1 July.
Brazil’s Alison dos Santos took bronze in 46.72.
Warholm said the Tokyo Olympics win was the biggest moment of his life.
“It's so crazy. This is by far the biggest moment of my life. I was so focused on getting that last medal in my collection and now it’s all complete. I need to set myself new goals, I don’t think I’m done yet.”
The following day McLaughlin also improved her own world 400m hurdles record, storming to gold at the Olympics in 51.46s. Her US teammate Dalilah Muhammad finished second in 51.58. Even that was well inside McLaughlin’s previous world record of 51.90 set at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene in June.
Femke Bol of the Netherlands was third in 52.03, a mark faster than the world record Muhammad had held until McLaughlin broke it earlier in the season.
Here's some perspective on McLaughlin’s 51.46s time. Up until 1970, it would have bettered the world record in 400m flat.