Lashinda Demus
Demus in 2009
Personal information
Born (1983-03-10) March 10, 1983 (age 41)
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Weight130 lb (59 kg)
CountryUnited States
Event400 m hurdles
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals2004 Athens
400 m hurdles, 7th (sf)
2012 London
400 m hurdles,  Gold
World finals2005 Helsinki
400 m hurdles,  Silver
2009 Berlin
400 m hurdles,  Silver
4x400 m relay,  Gold
2011 Daegu
400 m hurdles,  Gold
2013 Moscow
400 m hurdles,  Bronze
Personal bests
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2012 London 400 m hurdles
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2009 Berlin 4x400 m relay
Gold medal – first place 2011 Daegu 400 m hurdles
Silver medal – second place 2005 Helsinki 400 m hurdles
Silver medal – second place 2009 Berlin 400 m hurdles
Bronze medal – third place 2013 Moscow 400 m hurdles
World U20 Championships
Gold medal – first place 2002 Kingston 400 m hurdles
Gold medal – first place 2002 Kingston 4x400 m relay
Pan American U20 Athletics Championships
Gold medal – first place 1999 Tampa 400 m hurdles

Lashinda Demus (born March 10, 1983, in Inglewood, California) is a retired American hurdler who specialized in the 400 meter hurdles, an event in which she was the 2011 world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, becoming the first woman from the United States to win the Olympic 400 m hurdles title.

Demus' personal best time over 400 m hurdles is 52.47 seconds, set in Daegu, South Korea on September 1, 2011, making her as of December 2022 the seventh-fastest woman in history in the event. At the time it was the American record.[1] She is a five-time national champion (400 m hurdles), and a four-time NCAA champion (400 m hurdles, 400 m indoors and 4 × 400 m relay out and indoors).


1998–2001: High school years

She is an alumna of the Long Beach Wilson High School where she ran and until 2017 held the national high school record for the 300 m hurdles.[2] She ran on the 4x400 m relay team that set the national record in 1998, ran the second fastest time in history in 1999, and then broke its own national record in 2001[3] (since surpassed by cross town rival Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 2004).[2] She also competed in the 100 meter hurdles, winning the CIF California State Meet in 2001, on the 4x100 m relay team, champions in 2001,[4] as well as many of the sprint medley teams. In 1999 and again in 2001, she was named the national Girl's "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News. She is the only person to be so honored twice, non-consecutively.[5]

2001–2005: Collegiate years

After High School, Lashinda attended the University of South Carolina to work under Curtis Frye. Her top times in college were as follows: 55 m H: 7.80; 60 m H: 8.32; 100 m H: 13.35; 400 m H: 54.70; 400 m: 51.38; 800 m: 2:13.77.[6] While at South Carolina, Demus won the World Junior Championship in 2002, the NCAA Indoor Championship at 400 meters in 2004, the first of three National Championships[7] and a silver medal in the 2005 World Championships. Demus also was a member of the school's first NCAA team national championship when the women's track and field team won the 2002 NCAA Outdoor National Championship.

2004 Summer Olympics

Demus qualified for the American team at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In the semi-final, she ran exactly the same time as her teammate Sheena Johnson and .7 seconds faster than Brenda Taylor who qualified in the first semi, but Demus had the misfortune to run in the much faster second semi. Her fifth place did not advance her to the final.

2008–2011: World champion at 28 years old

Leaving behind the memory of failure to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, she won the 2009 US Championships in the 400 m hurdles, with a world-leading 53.78 seconds, gaining herself a place at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics.[8] She improved upon this with a time of 52.63 seconds at the Herculis meeting in July. This was a meeting record and was then the fourth fastest time ever for the event.[9] With that time she was the favorite to win the World Championships but faltered over the last two hurdles as she was passed by Olympic gold medalist Melaine Walker of Jamaica who was en route to the #2 time in history, leaving Demus to take home a second silver medal. However, Demus got her revenge at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, when she won the gold medal in 52.47 seconds, a new American Record and the third fastest time in history. She beat reigning Olympic Champion and defending World Champion Melaine Walker, who finished second. Heavy favorite Kaliese Spencer who had set the fastest time in 2011, could only finish fourth behind Demus, Walker and 2010 European Champion and 2004 Olympic 400 m bronze medalist Natalya Antyukh.[10]

2012 Summer Olympics

At the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, Demus originally won the silver medal for the women's 400 m hurdles behind Russia's Natalya Antyukh.[11]

In 2019, following a re-test of doping samples, Antyukh was disqualified with all her results 2013 onward deleted but her 2012 Olympic results were initially not affected.[12][13][14] However, following further re-tests in October 2022, Antyukh's results from July 15, 2012, onward were retroactively voided. On 20 December, it was announced that she had been stripped of her 400 m hurdles gold and Demus was upgraded to gold medal in her place, becoming the first woman from the United States to win the Olympic 400 m hurdles title.[15][16] In a first-ever medal reallocation ceremony held at a Summer Olympic Games, Demus will receive the gold medal at Paris's Champions Park in conjunction with the 2024 Summer Olympics.[17]


Representing the  United States
Year Competition Venue Position Event Time
1999 Pan American U20 Athletics Championships Tampa, Florida 1st 400 m hurdles 57.04
2001 World University Championships
Beijing, China 16th 400 m hurdles 60.78
2002 World Junior Championships Kingston, Jamaica 1st 400 m hurdles 54.70
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:29.95
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 7th (sf) 400 m hurdles 54.32
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 2nd 400 m hurdles 53.27
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 1st 400 m hurdles 53.37
2006 World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st 400 m hurdles 53.42
World Cup Athens, Greece 2nd 400 m hurdles 54.06
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 2nd 400 m hurdles 52.96
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:17.83
2011 World Championships Daegu, Korea 1st 400 m hurdles 52.47
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 1st 400 m hurdles 52.77
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 400 m hurdles 54.27


  1. ^ czatletika (2011-09-01). "Videos – Womens 400 Hurdles Final – Lashinda Demus 52.47 American Record – IAAF World Outdoor Championships 2011". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  2. ^ a b National High School Records Archived 2010-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Record Progression Archived December 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ 2001 State Meet Results Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Track and Field News High School AOY Archived October 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Retrieved on 2009-08-24". Archived from the original on 2009-12-06. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
  7. ^ National Championships Archived 2009-12-09 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Morse, Parker (2009-06-28). World season leads for Demus and Merritt as team takes shape in Eugene – USA Champs, Day 3. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-06-30.
  9. ^ Turner, Chris (2009-07-28). Hurdlers delight on a spectacular evening in Monaco – IAAF World Athletics Tour. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
  10. ^ Berlin results Archived February 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Lashinda Demus Out of the Blocks with Jasmine Todd & Katelyn Hutchison | A Track And Field Podcast
  12. ^ "London 2012 400m hurdles women Results - Olympic athletics".
  13. ^ Two Olympic champions among four Russians with new doping charges from Associated Press, via Sky Sports.
  14. ^ CAS Media Release (
  15. ^ "Russia's Antyukh stripped of London 2012 gold". BBC Sport. 2022-12-21. Retrieved 2022-12-21.
  16. ^ "LONDON 2012 ATHLETICS 400M HURDLES WOMEN RESULTS". 2022-12-21. Retrieved 2023-09-09.
  17. ^ Young, Michelle (2024-05-29). "Lashinda Demus to be Awarded London Gold Medal in Special Ceremony in Front of Eiffel Tower at Paris Olympics". Track & Field Fan Hub. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
Sporting positions Preceded by Yuliya Pechonkina Women's 400m Hurdles Best Year Performance 2006 Succeeded by Tiffany Williams