‘Glory to God!’: Sydney McLaughlin wins gold, sets world record in 400m hurdles

Sydney McLaughlin crosses the finish line to win an Olympic gold medal and set a new world record of 51,46 in the women’s 400m hurdles (PHOTO: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach/Sputnik News)

US Olympian Sydney McLaughlin won the gold medal setting a world record Tuesday night Eastern Time in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. McLaughlin won the race with a scorching time of 51.46.

After her victory, McLaughlin said it’s all about “just trusting the process and giving the glory to God.”

Before the race she also quoted the Bible verse about how “iron sharpens iron”, referring to her American teammate Dalilah Muhammad who came in a close second, earning the silver.

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McLaughlin had delivered a stellar performance in the semi-finals, landing a spot in the finals at the Tokyo Olympics. She won the semi-final by scoring just shy of the Olympic record with a time of 53.03, despite facing rainy conditions.

She is a strong believer in Jesus Christ who says it gives her peace to know God is with her – no matter the outcome. 

In Saturday’s heat, despite a false start due to another runner, McLaughlin kept her focus; she was nearly 10 paces down the track when a second gun went off, signaling the false start. “It’s always an adjustment, just mentally, having to refocus and regroup,” McLaughlin said. “It’s just one of those things. You can’t always control what happens, but mentally you can control how you respond to it.”

And her response to the competition garners just as much attention as her performance.

McLaughlin broke the world record last month during the U.S. Olympic track and field trials with a recorded time of 51.90 seconds, becoming the first woman to run the event in under 52 seconds.

After achieving the best time, the 21-year-old gave all the glory to God.

“I felt immediate excitement and overall gratefulness,” she said. “I owe it all to God, my family and my team. I’m still in disbelief, but it’s truly just faith, trusting the process, and seeing my hard work along with the gift of God being put into action.”

McLaughlin has been open about the opportunities and obstacles that come with competitive racing. In a May 16 post on Instagram, she pointed out that her strongest source of support is the Lord.

“Some days, the friendships and support are through the roof. Others, you wouldn’t even know it was there. Especially in a world full of inconsistency, it’s such a breath of fresh air to find true stability in Jesus. As humans, we are constantly shifting our efforts toward one another based off emotions and circumstances,” she wrote.

“The peace of knowing I will always have a friend, always have His support, and always have His LOVE; makes even the loneliest of moments feel full. My soul finds rest in knowing He is not like us. He doesn’t change, and He will never leave me. Giving the ability to be completely content, no matter the situation. Simply because, I don’t have to face it alone. That. Is. Love.”

McLaughlin says it’s more important to have a Christ-like attitude than the title of top athlete.

“I see myself impacting the lives of others by living by example through my actions and kindness,” she said. “Beyond being a great athlete, I want to be known as a good person of strong faith and integrity.”

McLaughlin’s Instagram bio states simply, “Jesus saved me,” and she often posts about her faith in God.

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