Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record in the women's 400-meter hurdles on Sunday night and qualified for her second Olympic Games during a heat-delayed final day of the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon.
McLaughlin, 21, recorded a time of 51.90 seconds, becoming the first woman to break the 52-second barrier.
Dalilah Muhammad, who finished second in Sunday's final, was the previous record holder at 52.16 seconds.
McLaughlin knelt to the ground after crossing the finish line and covered her mouth in disbelief when she saw the time on the scoreboard. Muhammad was the first to congratulate her with a celebratory hug.
McLaughlin later credited her faith and her coach, Bob Kersee, whom she began working with in 2020, in a postrace interview with NBC.
"Trusting the process," McLaughlin cited as the reason for Sunday's result. "A lot of things you really can't see coming, but just having that childlike faith and just trusting that everything's going to work out. Bobby's really good at that and I'm really happy that I chose to go with him."
As a 16-year-old in 2016, McLaughlin was the youngest American on the Olympic track and field team. She placed fifth in her semifinal heat in Rio but did not make the final. She won a silver medal at the 2019 world championships in the event, and she helped lead the American team to gold in the 4x400-meter relay.
Muhammad and McLaughlin are the world's two top-ranked women in the event and will be the favorites to medal in Tokyo. Anna Cockrell finished Sunday's race in third and will join McLaughlin and Muhammad on the Olympic team.
Sunday's night session at Hayward Field was postponed by over four hours because of extreme heat, and it resumed at 8:30 p.m. local time. Temperatures earlier in the day reached 108 degrees and the surface of the track exceeded 150.
McLaughlin said the wait "was a little bit of a throw in our plan.''
"But we were prepared for that,'' she said. "Bobby always talks about Muhammad Ali, and always having to be ready for that left hook.''
Noah Lyles won the 200 meters to punch his Olympic ticket, then celebrated by kneeling on the track and clasping his hands together: "I just stopped stressing and let my body do what it does,'' he said after posting a world-leading time of 19.74 seconds that came on the heels of some lackluster runs through the 100 and 200 rounds.
He shared the spotlight with 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton, whose third-place finish makes him the youngest male member of the U.S. Olympic track team since Jim Ryun in 1964.
Knighton's time of 19.84 seconds was a personal best and broke his own Under-20 world record, which he had set earlier this week. The previous record holder had been Usain Bolt.
Teenager Athing Mu won the women's 800 meters to earn her spot on the Olympic team. Mu, 19, stumbled early in the race, but she recovered and pulled away from the pack down the final stretch to finish in 1 minute, 56.07 seconds.
It was a meet record and the best time in the world this season. It was also the second-fastest time in the event by an American woman.
Also earning spots on the team was runner-up Raevyn Rogers, who ran at Hayward Field while at Oregon and finished in a personal best 1:57.66, and Ajee Wilson, who finished third in 1:58.39. Wilson, who holds the U.S. record of 1:55.61, will run in her second Olympics.
Oregon freshman Cole Hocker won the men's 1,500 meters, but it was uncertain whether he'll go to Tokyo because he hadn't run the Olympic standard. Hocker finished in a personal best 3:35.28, edging former Oregon standout Matthew Centrowitz Jr., who finished in 3:35.34. It's the third Olympic team for Centrowitz. He won gold at the 2016 Brazil Games.
Hocker poured on the speed down the stretch, catching Centrowitz as the crowd wildly cheered. Yared Nuguse also made the Olympic team, finishing third in 3:36.19. Hocker just missed out on the Olympic standard by .28 seconds, so now he'll wait for a ruling on whether he can compete.
Annie Kunz won the women's heptathlon competition with a strong performance in the final event, the 800 meters, on a day when the race was moved to later because of the extreme heat.
Taliyah Brooks withdrew from the competition after being carted off the field in a wheelchair earlier in the afternoon as the temperature reached 108 degrees on the track. It was 96 degrees at the start of the seventh and final event in the heptathlon.
Kunz finished the 800 in 2:15.24 seconds to accumulate a personal-best 6,703 points to earn a spot at the Tokyo Games. She edged 2016 Olympic qualifier Kendell Williams (6,683 points). Erica Bougard was third.
JuVaughn Harrison, 22, from LSU, won not one but two men's titles on the same day to become the first American to make the Olympics in both the high jump and the long jump since Jim Thorpe in 1912.
"That's a lot of years for somebody not to do it,'' Harrison said. "It's really good for me to have my name in history like that.''
The LSU product jumped a personal-best 27 feet, 9½ inches (8.47 meters) to win the long jump. Marquis Dendy was second and Steffin McCarter out of the University of Texas was third. Reigning Olympic long jump champion Jeff Henderson finished in sixth place.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.