The 400m hurdles are a challenging event that involves a combination of speed, strength, and agility. Over the course of the race, the competitors must jump ten hurdles that are each 30 inches tall. The competition is regarded as one of track and field’s toughest. The women’s 400m hurdles event at the Olympics has featured several outstanding performers over the years. Women’s track and field competitions in the Olympics were previously restricted to events lasting no more than 200 meters. However, in response to growing calls for gender equality in athletics, the women’s 400m hurdles event was introduced to the Olympic program.
Since the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the women’s 400-meter hurdles competition has been held as an Olympic event. Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco won the opening competition, making history as the first woman from an Islamic country to take home an Olympic gold medal. American athletes have dominated the women’s 400-meter hurdles, earning 11 medals in all, including three gold, five silver, and three bronze. The women’s 400m hurdles have recently developed into one of the most thrilling and closely watched competitions in track and field thanks to the rising talents and even more challenging competitions.
Athletes from the United States who have won the gold medal in the women’s 400m hurdles in the Olympics
Although the USA has been a dominant force in the women’s 400m hurdles, the nation bagged its first gold medal in 2016. The USA had previously won many silver and bronze medals but had never reached the topmost position of the podium. However, on August 18, 2012, Dalilah Muhammad scripted history by becoming the first athlete from the United States, winning the event with a timing of 53.13. On her way to gold, she defeated Sara Petersen of Denmark and fellow countrywoman Ashley Spencer, who finished second and third respectively.
At the next Olympic Games in Tokyo which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the defending champion Dalilah Muhammad was again eyeing her successive gold-medal triumph. But, her compatriot Sydney McLaughlin, had other plans. In the final, McLaughlin defeated the previous champion Dalilah Muhammad by clocking a time of 51.46s to give the USA their second successive gold medal. The victory was as impressive as the previous one as McLaughlin had also established the Olympic and World record in the final. The runner-up Dalilah was also phenomenal during the finals as she clocked the second-best timing (51.58) to clinch the silver.
The USA achieved their third gold medal when Lashinda Demus’ Olympic silver medal got upgraded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), owing to the disqualification of the earlier gold medalist Natalya Antyukh in the fallout from Russia’s doping scandal. As a result, Lashinda Demus became the Olympic champion at the age of 40 in the women’s 400m hurdles and more than a decade as the London Olympics had taken place in the year 2012.
Let’s take a look at the gold medalists of the 400m hurdles event from the United States and the timings that they recorded when they captured the prestigious medal for their nation.
|August 4, 2021
|Tokyo Olympics 2020
|August 18, 2016
|Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016
|August 8, 2012
|London Olympics 2012