Benjamin wins LA 400m hurdles in blistering 46.64sec

Rai Benjamin of the United States competes in the men’s 400 meter hurdles during the 2024 USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix at UCLA’s Drake Stadium on May 18, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. AFP

American Rai Benjamin won the men’s 400m hurdles in a world-leading 46.64 seconds at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on Saturday as Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone posted an impressive 200m victory.

Benjamin, the 400m hurdles Olympic silver medallist, clocked the ninth-fastest time ever, revving up expectations for a Paris Games showdown with Norway’s Karsten Warholm and Brazilian Alison dos Santos — who won gold and bronze in a scintillating Tokyo Olympics final.

McLaughlin-Levrone, world record-holder and Olympic champion in the women’s 400m hurdles, clocked a personal best 22.07sec, (wind -0.3m/sec) to win the 200m, the second-fastest time in the world this year.

In her first competitive 200m since 2018, McLaughlin-Levrone beat fellow American Abby Steiner by 25-hundredths of a second.

Gabby Thomas, the world silver and Olympic bronze medallist, was sixth in 22.68sec.

American McKenzie Long has the world’s fastest 200m this year at 22.03sec. Jamaican Shericka Jackson, who won the world title last August in 21.41 has yet to race a 200m in 2024.

In other events, American Michael Norman won the 400m in 44.53sec, beating 2012 Olympic gold medallist Kirani James of Grenada, who clocked 44.85.

American Kyree King won the men’s 100m in 10.11sec, edging world silver medallist Letsile Tebogo of Botswana by two-hundredths of a second.

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