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Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, an Olympic gold medalist, will focus solely on competing in the 400-meter hurdles at the trials

The 24-year-old star was withdrawn from the 200-meter and 400-meter flat races.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone has set her sights on defending her title in the 400-meter hurdles at the upcoming Paris Olympics, a decision that has led to her withdrawal from the 200 and 400-meter flat races she initially committed to.

Originally entered in all three events for this month’s U.S. Olympic trials, McLaughlin-Levrone’s status shifted on Tuesday when she was marked as a “scratch” in both the 200 and 400-meter disciplines.

Coach Bobby Kersee had hinted at this strategic decision last month, emphasizing that the hurdles are McLaughlin-Levrone’s primary focus. This intent became clearer in May when she competed in her first 400-meter hurdles race in nearly two years, finishing with a time of 52.70 seconds, meeting the Olympic qualification standard.

Kersee explained, “My job is to make sure that she gets ready for the one that she wants to do the most.”

Earlier this month, McLaughlin-Levrone showcased her versatility by running the 400 meters in an impressive 48.75 seconds, marking the third fastest time in U.S. history.

Throughout this year, the 24-year-old athlete has participated in a diverse array of events, including the 100 and 400-meter hurdles, the 200 and 400-meter flat races, and contributed to the 4×100 relay. Her athletic repertoire also includes an Olympic gold medal earned in the 4×400 relay.

Since her triumph at the Tokyo Olympics, McLaughlin-Levrone has hinted at exploring new challenges within track and field, keeping her intentions shrouded in mystery until recent weeks.

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