By Laura Amato
That’s one way to make your presence known at the Olympics.
Cardozo alum Dalilah Muhammad had to wait over a week before her first race in Rio, but the former Judges star didn’t show any signs of rust, finishing first in her 400m hurdles preliminary heat with a 55.33 finish.
Muhammad cruised to the top spot in her race – even slowing down a bit down the stretch – and posted the third best time of all runners in the six total heats. The Bayside native didn’t miss a step, despite earlier downpours in Rio which caused delays to the track and field events, hitting her stride from the opening gun and out-running her competition with ease.
“I just wanted to do enough to win,” Muhammad told NBC following the race. “Get a feel for the track because it was my first time running on it. That was it, get a feel for the track and set myself up for [Tuesday’s semifinal]”
It’s been a picture-perfect summer for Muhammad who posted the fastest 400m hurdle finish in the world this year with a 52.88 at the United States Olympic trials. It was the first time a runner posted a sub-53 since 2013 and marked the fifth-best finish ever by an American sprinter in the event.
Muhammad advances to the semifinals of the event, which will be broadcast on NBC on Tuesday evening, joining two Team USA teammates, Ashley Spencer and Sydney McLaughlin.