DES MOINES, Iowa — Dalilah Muhammad broke a 16-year-old world record in the 400m hurdles at the USATF Outdoor Championships on Sunday.
Muhammad, the Rio Olympic champion, clocked 52.20 seconds on a wet track to take .14 off Russian Yuliya Pechonkina‘s mark from 2003.
“My coach kept telling me it was there,” Muhammad, whose previous best was 52.64 from 2017, told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “I just had to trust in my fitness and go for it.”
Muhammad, 29, leads a four-woman U.S. team for world championships in Doha in two months that could sweep the medals.
She’s joined by Sydney McLaughlin, who entered Sunday’s final with the fastest time in the world this year and finished second in 52.88. McLaughlin, who in Rio became the youngest U.S. Olympic track and field competitor since 1972, goes to her first worlds.
Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer and defending world champion Kori Carter are also on the team.
USATF OUTDOORS: Full Results
In other events Sunday, Noah Lyles made his first world championships team by winning the 200m in 19.78 seconds. He topped U.S. 100m champion Christian Coleman, who was second in 20.02 to set up a 100m-200m double in Doha. More on Lyles-Coleman here.
Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz was upset by mulletted Craig Engels, but Centrowitz still finished second to make his seventh straight Olympic or world team.
Favorites Daniel Roberts, Grant Holloway and Devon Allen went one-two-three in the 110m hurdles to make up that world team. Holloway beat Roberts at the NCAA Championships in 12.98 seconds, fastest in the world this year, then dived across the finish line Sunday to secure his first world spot. Roberts won in 13.23.
Dezerea Bryant won the women’s 200m in 22.47 seconds, while U.S. 100m champion Teahna Daniels missed the world team in this event .02, taking fourth.
Emma Coburn earned her eighth steeplechase title in nine years, even though she did not need to race here because she as a bye into Doha as defending world champion. Coburn is joined on the world team by Courtney Frerichs, who took second, just as she did at 2017 Worlds.
Coburn ranks third in the world this year behind Kenyans Beatrice Chepkoech (world-record holder) and Norah Jeruto.
Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy fought traffic in the last 200 meters to go from fourth to second behind Donavan Brazier and qualify for worlds. Brazier, 22, ranks fifth in the world this year after being eliminated in the semifinals in his world champs debut in 2017.
Ajeé Wilson earned her third straight U.S. 800m title, clocking 1:57.72. She’s a medal favorite at worlds given the absence of Olympic silver and bronze medalists Francine Niyonasaba and Margaret Wambui due to the IAAF’s new testosterone-capping rule. However, two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya is for the moment eligible while appealing.
Athing Mu, 17, finished fifth in a personal-best 2:01.17.
Lopez Lomong, who won the 10,000m on Thursday, doubled up in the 5000m, but he can’t compete at worlds in the latter because he doesn’t have a fast enough qualifying time. Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo, who lost a final sprint to the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony flag bearer Lomong by .27, leads the team.
Shelby Houlihan completed her second straight 1500m-5000m double at nationals by kicking to win the longer distance. Houlihan, 11th in Rio in the 5000m, is not expected to race that event at worlds as she focuses on the 1500m, where has become one of the world’s best in the last two years.
In the pole vault, Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic champ ranked No. 1 in the world this year, and Sandi Morris, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist ranked No. 2 in the world this year, both qualified for worlds.
Erica Bougard overcame Kendell Williams‘ 66-point lead in the heptathlon in the last event, the 800m, to repeat as national champion.
Bougard’s total, 6,663, ranks third in the world this year behind Olympic champion Nafi Thiam of Belgium and Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson. The last American to earn a world heptathlon medal was Shelia Burrell in 2001 (bronze).
Jeron Robinson repeated as high jump champion, clearing 2.30 meters to move to joint seventh in the world this year.
The track and field season continues with a Diamond League meet in Birmingham, Great Britain, on Aug. 18.
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