Summer 2024

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone wins flat 400m at U.S. championships: 'God’s grace is sufficient'

Having won an Olympic gold medal, a world championships gold medal and broken her own world record multiple times in the 400-meter hurdles, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone decided to switch to the flat 400 meters this year. The transition has not been a difficult one.

McLaughlin-Levrone won the event at the U.S. track and field championships Saturday with a time of 48.74, giving her the fastest lap in the world in 2023. She was just four hundredths of a second away from tying the U.S. record set by Sanya Richards-Ross in 2006.

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“I was very happy and grateful with the time and just a sigh of relief because this has been something I’ve been working towards and I know there’s a lot more there, but this is just showing us that we’re moving in the right direction,” McLaughlin-Levrone said after the race.

As she has done many times before during her distinguished career, McLaughlin-Levrone used the attention she received to give glory to God. She celebrated the peace she finds in God with an Instagram post that included Proverbs 3:5-6.

“God’s grace is sufficient for each and everyday,” she wrote. “The peace He brings surpasses that of any outcome, and the joy of running for Him, makes these moments that much sweeter.”

McLaughlin-Levrone has often shared about the important role faith plays in her life. During an appearance on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in November, she said there was a time in her career when track was her identity.

“For a long time, track was who I was,” she said on the podcast. “But now more than ever, first and foremost I’m a child of God, and track is not who I am, it’s what I do.”

Despite all the success she was experiencing, McLaughlin-Levrone found herself searching for something more. God kept pursuing her even though she wasn’t ready to surrender her life to Him immediately.

“I put that off and just walked in the world and lived a very secular life,” she said on the podcast. “It never fulfilled me, it never sustained me and I could vividly hear God in a couple of instances say, ‘Are you done? Are you ready to give your life over to Me? Are you ready to let Me have control?’ I would literally tell Him ‘no’ because I wasn’t sure, in doing that, if it would turn out the way that I wanted it to turn out. God doesn’t force you to love Him.”

McLaughlin-Levrone’s performance Saturday means she is eligible to compete in both the 400m hurdles (being the defending champion) and flat 400m at next month’s world championships in Budapest, Hungary. Her coach, Bobby Kersee, said last month she will participate in one or the other, but nothing has been decided yet.

Worlds begin Aug. 19 and run through the 27th. McLaughlin-Levrone won gold medals in both the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay at last year’s event, breaking her own world record in the 400m hurdles with a time of 50.68 seconds.

Sydney McLaughlin sets another world record: ‘God gave me the strength to do it’
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