Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone shows that anything is feasible for her on the Olympic Games in Paris and beyond

Victory was all but assured when Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone rounded the corner before the finish line at Icahn Stadium in New York. She had crossed the 400-meter course on the NYC Grand Prix on Sunday, destroying any hopes the opposite seven runners in the sphere had. Now all she needed to do was make Sanya Richards-Ross sweat.

McLaughlin-Levrone had declared before the race that she was going for the American record, and as she glided down the ultimate 100 meters, braving the Manhattan wind, she almost did it, clocking a time of 48.75 seconds, just shy of Richards-Ross' national record of 48.70 seconds set in 2006.

“So close,” McLaughlin-Levrone told reporters afterward. “But you know what, it's all good. There's so much time to do this. It's all about refining it and getting to know the race.”

It was the fastest time by a female runner within the 400m this season – and it was in her first competition within the event in 11 months. It's not even her best performance. It was the second time in three weekends that McLaughlin-Levrone had competed in a race that wasn't her specialty, and she or he walked away with the reigning world best time this yr.

Sunday was further proof that McLaughlin-Levrone can do anything she wants within the sprint universe. So much so that folks naturally want her to do every part.

On Sunday, she left the sphere behind within the 400-meter race – her first competition on this discipline in 11 months. Three weekends ago, she ran the 200 meters in 22.07 seconds on the Los Angeles Grand Prix – three tenths of a second higher than her time two weeks ago and the second best time on the earth this yr. Before this May in accordance with World Athleticsshe hadn't run the 200 since 2018.

She is currently scheduled to compete in a single event on the U.S. Olympic qualifiers later this month: the 400-meter hurdles, where she holds the world record. She is the reigning Olympic champion in that event, and her showdown with Femke Bol of the Netherlands guarantees to be one of the exciting sprint battles in Paris.

But watching McLaughlin-Levrone race is like driving a luxury rental automobile around only one block. Like eating only one scoop of your favorite ice cream.

She will probably also participate in a relay race in Paris. But her rarity only creates demand. She is arguably essentially the most dominant and in addition essentially the most mysterious. Although she is unquestionably one of the talented, she can also be essentially the most sensible about it.

She has the qualities of an all-time great and the potential to attain divine feats, but one among the fastest women on the earth is patiently pursuing historic glory.

Her performance on the New York Grand Prix could create pressure so as to add the 400 meters to the 400 hurdles on the trials and attempt the double. The 400 meter races will happen on the primary three days of the Olympic trials, which will probably be held on the University of Oregon's Hayward Field from June 21-30. The hurdles will begin on Day 7. At the Paris Olympics, the heats, semifinals and finals for every event will happen on alternate days from August 4-9.

She said that if she did something crazy in New York, it could get her into the 400 meter heats.

“I don't think I would call it crazy,” she told reporters, flashing her vivid smile.

A double victory is just not without risk. An injury within the 400 meters would jeopardize her best event, the 400 meter hurdles – the last event within the heats. She already missed the World Championships in August because of injury. In addition, she has never run the flat 400 meters under the pressure of international competitions. Competing within the Olympic Games for the primary time could be an enormous challenge.

But McLaughlin-Levrone is so fascinating that she leaves us wanting more from the living legend. She is one among the faces of New Balance, an exemplary athlete often known as much for her character and kindness as she is for her speed.

Sha'Carri Richardson could establish herself as the largest name in track and field, and she or he has a dynamic personality to match her explosiveness. Noah Lyles has an identical appeal. He dominated the 200-meter race (19.77 seconds) on the NYC Grand Prix.

But McLaughlin-Levrone is a superstar in her own right. Her healthful friendliness has its own charm. Her understated presence drives demand. And her smooth running style is breathtaking in its own way.

She has two gold medals from Tokyo, one within the 400-meter hurdles and one within the 4×400-meter run. Repeating that feat would give her 4 gold medals just days after her twenty fifth birthday.

Carl Lewis holds the American record with nine gold medals in track and field. Allyson Felix won a complete of 11 medals in her illustrious profession, including seven gold medals – essentially the most of any athlete. When McLaughlin-Levrone is finished, she may very well be essentially the most decorated Olympian in American track and field history.

That's why her choreography of this long game is interesting, even when athletics fans would love to see her more often. She has appeared in five competitions in 2024 and run in five disciplines. All that is just preparation for the 400-meter hurdles, she is working on the various elements to be in top form in time to have the ability to defend her title ahead of the trials. But this has only shown the variability of her options.

It's not crazy to think that she'll do the 400m double in Paris after which do the 200m and 100m double in Los Angeles in 2028. She could also run the 100m hurdles and even switch to the 800m if she desired to. She's that good.

McLaughlin-Levrone is running her own race. Pun intended. In a sport where awards mean revenue, in a rustic where the celebrity of a track and field legend has a limited lifespan, she seems to have little interest in microwaving her majesty. She is on a focused, meticulous path, and her talent obscures the horizon. And since she is so rarely present, these moments of brilliance have to be savored.

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