EUGENE, Ore. — Sydney McLaughlin took the winning final lap of an All-American World Championship on Sunday, breaking away in the 4×400-meter relay to close out an American runaway and give the Americans their record-breaking 33rd medal of the meet.
McLaughlin turned a 0.73 second lead into a 2.93 second laugh in the anchor lap, adding that burst of speed to the world record she had set two nights earlier in the 400 hurdles.
Two more world records were broken on Sunday – in the very first and very last action of the latest session at Hayward Field.
Nigerian Tobi Amusan opened the evening by setting the record for the 100 meters hurdles in the semi-final: 12.12 seconds. She came back about 90 minutes later to win the gold medal. His winning time was actually faster – 12.06 – but the wind was too strong so this mark does not go into the books.
“When I looked at the record, I was like, ‘Whoa, who did this?'” Amusan said.
And after McLaughlin completed his final lap, pole vaulter Armand Duplantis of Sweden cleared 6.21 meters (20 feet, 4 1/2 inches) to break his world record by 0.01.
It gave Sweden its first gold medal of the competition. It was 12 less than the Americans.
The latest was particularly sweet, as it also marked the 14th and final world gold medal for 36-year-old Allyson Felix, who came out of retirement to race in the 4×400 prelims and, thus, earns a medal. . She ends her career with a record 20 world medals in total.
“We are a family, we stick together,” McLaughlin said. “Allyson came out of retirement to bring us here, so we wanted to do that.”
The US, won the women’s race in 3 minutes, 17.79 seconds.
The 33 medals were three more than the United States in 2017.
One of America’s gold medals went to Athing Mu in the 800.
She cleared both laps in 1:56.30 – a 0.08 margin over Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson. Mu, 20, is now an Olympic and world champion in the distance and, along with McLaughlin, is part of a bright future for the United States.
In between, a sprinter named Champion — Champion Allison — anchored the men’s 4×400 to an easy win for the No. 32 medal.
Another medal went to American 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 his first record attempt, then waited for the relay, then had the crowd cheering in rhythm for him and cleared the bar.
Last year in Tokyo, American men were barred from the sprints, prompting questions about what was wrong.
Answer: Not much. With Fred Kerley and Noah Lyles leading, the men swept the sprints earlier in the week, and Ryan Crouser led a sweep in the shot put. The silver medal-winning 4×100 relay team was messy — nothing new there — but it was a blip.
In total, the men won four more medals than the women during the 10-day competition.
“Our team is laser focused to support our athletes and coaches,” said Max Siegel, CEO of USA Track and Field. “It’s about getting the basic programs in place for them and really working hand in hand with all the personal trainers.”
The decathlon champion is Kevin Mayer from France, who adds this to his title in 2017.
And the 5,000 meter title went to Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway, who finished in 13:09.24 in a special race.
It was Oregon’s legendary Steve Prefontaine’s last race before a fatal car crash in Eugene.
It’s a city full of ‘pre’ tributes and in many ways the biggest track event, the world championships, ended in this university town of 170,000 people because of the tracks that he traced half a century ago.
“It’s probably the best place I could have won,” Ingebrigtsen said.