Injured Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone will not run in world track championships

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone waves to the crowd after winning the women's 400 meters.
Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone waves to the crowd after winning the women’s 400 meters during the U.S. track championships.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)
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When the world track and field championships begin next week in Budapest, Hungary, one of the sport’s biggest stars will not be competing.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who has won Olympic and world championships in the 400-meter hurdles and this season expanded her range by qualifying for the world championships in the 400 meters, announced Friday she was withdrawing.

McLaughlin-Levrone, who set the world record in the 400 hurdles and trains in Los Angeles, wrote on Instagram: “After consulting with my doctors and coaches, I need to take care of a minor knee issue so that I can be fully healthy for next years’ Paris Olympics. I look forward to seeing everyone back on the track soon!”


Bobby Kersee has helped transform Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Athing Mu and many others into champion runners — and he shows no signs of slowing down.

May 26, 2023

McLaughlin-Levrone’s 2023 season is over, but her injury will not require surgery, her coach, Bobby Kersee told The Times. He said she will undergo physical therapy along with strength and conditioning work.

The announcement came a month after McLaughlin-Levrone had withdrawn from a high-profile meet in Monaco because of what Kersee cited at the time as a lingering knee issue. McLaughlin-Levrone had continued training in Los Angeles as part of Kersee’s training group until Thursday, when Kersee said he decided to pull her from worlds after consulting with his medical team. He said the medical team agreed McLaughlin-Levrone could run but not without the risk of aggravating an injury he termed “nothing major” into something more damaging. He said he did not believe that risk was worth setting back her training ahead of the Paris Olympics next summer.

Without McLaughlin-Levrone, the championships will be without one of the sport’s top draws. She will miss an opportunity to see if she would prevail in a showdown of 400-meter specialists such as Marileidy Paulino and Salwa Eid Naser as well as Olympic and world champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo. McLaughlin-Levrone ran 48.74 seconds in the 400 at July’s U.S. championships to record history’s 10th-fastest time.

Kersee’s Los Angeles-based training group could still have another of its biggest stars competing in Budapest in Athing Mu, the reigning Olympic and world champion at 800 meters. Kersee told The Times on Aug. 2 that he and Mu were contemplating not competing at worlds in order to focus on the 2024 Olympics, but her training has continued in Los Angeles and a decision is expected next week.