Aug. 4, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A Queens athlete won a silver medal for Team USA in an epic race at the Tokyo Olympics yesterday.
Dalilah Muhammad, who hails from Jamaica, Queens, finished second in the women’s 400-meter hurdle final – falling agonizingly short of clinching a gold medal.
Muhammad, who was the defending Olympic champion, got off to a blistering start and led the field for most of the race at the Japan National Stadium.
The 31-year-old was in the lead after clearing the final hurdle but was reeled in by teammate Sydney McLaughlin who powered ahead in the dying strides to snatch the gold. McLaughlin, 21, shattered the world record in the process clocking a time of 51.46 seconds
Muhammad’s time of 51.58 seconds would have been a new world record in its own right were it not for McLaughlin. The pair ensured a 1-2 finish for Team USA.
The event was touted as a race between a proven veteran and a talented newcomer.
Pundits had eagerly awaited to see if Muhammad could stave off a challenge to her Olympic crown by McLaughlin, the prodigy from New Jersey.
Muhammad said she was content with second place.
“Every question is going to be, ‘Am I happy or am I unhappy with silver?” Muhammad said after the race.
“But that’s not how I feel at all. I’ve had an amazing year and to finish with 51.5, shattering my personal best, is absolutely amazing.”
Muhammad had a bumpy road to the games, suffering a hamstring injury earlier this year while she was also struck with COVID-19 twice.
“I’m so proud to be part of that history and even more proud of my teammate Sydney,” she said. “I’m just happy it’s a one-two final for USA, and today I’m happy with second.”
In 2019, pre-COVID-19, Muhammad won gold at the world championships in Doha, Qatar, and also smashed the then 400-meter hurdle world record. In her teenage years, Muhammad won titles at state and national levels while attending Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside.
Muhammad will be featured alongside McLaughlin on tonight’s NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt which airs at 6:30 p.m.
This is SPEED. Watch the #TokyoOlympics women’s 400m hurdles final right here on Twitter! https://t.co/jclm8wIdYM
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 4, 2021
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