Queens-born Dalilah Muhammad dazzled the audience last Thursday in Rio and the rest of the world when she won gold in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.
The 26-year-old Jamaica native who was raised in Rochdale won the race in 53.14 seconds, beating the second place Sara Slott Peterson of Denmark and third place winner Ashley Spencer of Indiana.
Muhammad is the first woman to ever claim the gold in the women’s 400-meter hurdles for the United States. This is also her first Olympic medal in her career.
Mayor Bill de Blasio took to Twitter to express his elation and to commend the young superstar, saying, “NYC’s Pantheon of heroes just gained a new member.”
Born in Jamaica to parents Nadirah and Askia Muhammad, she fell in love with running at an early age.
“She would […] run into her room then do like a backwards jump over the broom and onto the bed,” Jamilah Muhammad, Dalilah’s sister, told NY1.
Muhammad began her running career at the age of 7 and eventually became a hall of famer at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside. Muhammad won gold in 2007 at the World Youth Games in the Czech Republic.
In 2008, she won both the New York State Nike Outdoors Nationals. She earned an athletic scholarship and enrolled the University of Southern California majoring in business. She won silver at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.
“I was just happy it was over and relieved to come out with a win. I’m so thankful,’’ Muhammad told the New York Post.
If you missed the race, check it out on NBC Sports’ YouTube channel.