Home hurdler Sydney McLaughlin became the first woman to break 51sec in winning the 400m hurdles world title in Eugene ©Getty Images

Home athlete Sydney McLaughlin broke the 400 metres hurdles world record for the fourth time as she won her first world title amid frenzy at Hayward Field, becoming the first woman to break 51 seconds with an unearthly clocking of 50.68sec.

The 22-year-old Olympic champion’s latest flourish followed a long-awaited major victory for another prodigious young United States performer, Michael Norman, who, at 24, now has the men's world 400m title his talent merits.

And that race was preceded by a woman’s 400m in which the Bahamian double Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo earned her first world title as she ran 49.11, the fastest time of the year, to once again hold off the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist, Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic, who clocked 49.60.

Earlier on day eight of the World Athletics Championships, Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber retained her world javelin title with a 2022 world best of 66.91 metres.

On the Eugene track where she had set two of her previous world records - the first, 51.90, came at last year’s US Olympic trials while McLaughlin ran 51.41 at last month’s US Championships to better the mark of 51.46 she had set in winning Tokyo gold - McLaughlin secured the only big prize still missing from her collection.

Such was her brilliance that her hugely talented contemporary Femke Bol of The Netherlands, who took Olympic bronze last year, was effectively in another race as she came home for silver and equalled her season’s best of 52.27.

Defending champion Dalilah Muhammad, also the Rio 2016 champion and a former world record-holder, ensured a second home athlete would be on the podium as she came home in 53.13 ahead of fellow American Shamier Little, who recorded 53.76.

"The time is absolutely amazing and the sport is getting faster and faster," said McLaughlin.

"I only get faster from here.

"The last 100 really hurt, but I'm grateful to have this crowd.

"It was absolutely unreal to have my family in the stands - I have never had them together on one place."

Second-placed Bol said it was surreal to see McLaughlin's pace at first hand.

"It was crazy," Bol said. 

"She was so far in front at the end so I was always doubting if I really had a good race because it felt very good.

"It means a lot that she also broke the 51-second barrier.

"It is unbelievable but it is amazing to be a part of it and to come out second in such a race."

McLaughlin hinted once again that she may switch events, with a change to the 400m flat looking most likely.

"Me and [coach Bobby Kersee] are going to go back after the season, decide if this is still an event I even want to do, or if we're going to find something else because we've accomplished so much in it," she told NBC.

McLaughlin has been marked out for glory ever since setting an age-15 world best 400 metres hurdles time of 55.28 at 2015 national youth trials and then qualifying for Rio 2016 with a world junior record of 54.15.

Unlike many another prodigious young talents, however, McLaughlin has delivered on every fervent prediction made for her.

Norman’s huge talent has also been evident since his notable feats as a college runner, when he became world junior 200m champion in 2016 and, aged 20, set the current world indoor 400m world record of 44.52.

He has since become one of only three men to have run 100m in sub-10sec, 200m in sub-20 and 400m in sub-44.

But at 24, despite helping the US earn 4x400m relay gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - a result which may now be in jeopardy following this month’s doping suspension of heats runner of Randolph Ross - Norman had not earned the individual medals his talent warranted.

Now he has a world gold after passing London 2012 champion Kirani James in the closing stages of the race to win in the relatively modest time of 44.29, with the Grenada runner taking silver in 44.48 ahead of Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith, who clocked 44.66.

James, who completed his Olympic medal set with bronze last year after taking silver at Rio 2016, ended up doing the same thing in Eugene after going for broke from the gun.

The 29-year-old, who was diagnosed with Graves' disease in 2017, led until the final 100m, where Norman found the way to get past him, but held on to complement the world gold he had won in 2011 and the world bronze in 2015.

As a character and competitor, for more than a decade, James has been solid gold.

Miller-Uibo took world silver in Doha three years ago in what was then a Caribbean record of 48.37 behind the 48.14 run by Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, who is currently serving a two-year ban for whereabouts failures in the lead-up to those World Championships.

Now Miller-Uibo has a gold medal after successfully seeing through the same tactics as adopted by James, leading from the off.

The 28-year-old was never headed before coming through the line a clear winner, with Paulino taking second position in the closing stages as Sada Williams of Barbados earned bronze in a national record of 49.75.

Barber, 30, who won bronze at last year's Olympics, returned to the top of a global podium thanks to her third-round effort, with home thrower Kara Winger taking silver on 64.05 metres and bronze going to Japan's Haruka Kitaguchi with 63.27m.

Home athletes are now one race away from completing domination in the men’s sprints by following the 100 and 200 metres clean sweeps with victory in tomorrow’s 4x100m final after topping qualifying in 37.87sec, the fastest time run this year.

France were second-fastest in 38.00 and Canada clocked 38.10.

Britain, defending champions in this event and silver medallists behind Italy at last year’s Olympics until a positive test for team member CJ Ujah meant the medal was lost, were seventh-fastest qualifiers in 38.49 ahead of Ghana on 38.58.    

Britain’s women, minus 200m bronze medallist Dina Asher-Smith, topped qualifying in their 4x100m heats in 41.99 from a Jamaican quartet that did not feature any of the individual 100m medallists, clocking 42.37.

Home athlete Athing Mu, the Olympic women’s 800m champion, topped qualifying for Sunday’s final in 1min 58.12sec, with Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia going through in a personal best of 1:58.16 and Mu’s fellow 20-year-old Keely Hodgkinson of Britain, the Olympic silver medallist, clocking 1:58.51.

Sweden’s world record holder Mondo Duplantis and home athlete Chris Nilsen, respective Tokyo 2020 gold and silver medallists, reached Sunday’s men’s pole vault final with routine clearances of 5.75 metres.