Dalilah Muhammad breaks 16-year-old 400 meter hurdles record in the rain

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1127416/" data-ylk="slk:Dalilah Muhammad">Dalilah Muhammad</a> ran the 400 meter hurdles in 52.20 seconds on Sunday. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Dalilah Muhammad ran the 400 meter hurdles in 52.20 seconds on Sunday. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Dalilah Muhammad made a goal of breaking the women’s 400 meter hurdles world record. Her personal best from two years ago was only .30 seconds off of her goal, and she wouldn’t let anything stop her.

Not even a little rain.

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Through wet conditions on Sunday at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, Muhammad followed through on her goal by breaking Yuliya Pechonkina’s 2003 record with a 52.20 time.

Muhammad, 29, was already a notable runner because of her gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the same event, but this further cements her legacy as one of the top American runners.

Not only did she break Pechonkina’s record by .14 seconds, she did so in poor conditions. Muhammad isn’t one to make excuses, but her time likely would have been even better if she had better footing.

“My coach kept telling me it was there,” Muhammad said on NBC. “I just had to trust in my fitness and go for it.”

Muhammad left the rest of her competition in the dust with the closest competitor, fellow Olympian Sydney McLaughlin, finishing at 52.88. Ashley Spencer was the only other runner to finish within a second of her.

Muhammad will have a chance to defend her gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games, where the Olympic record is Natalya Antyukh’s 52.70, but first she will head to the world championships in Doha in late September.

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