Nia Ali was competing at an extremely high level in track and field. Ali clocked an impressive 12.34 in the 100-meter hurdles while capturing a gold medal at the IAAF world championships in Doha, Qatar last summer.
The former West Catholic and Pleasantville High standout was going to be one of the bright stars at the Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, the Tokyo Olympics originally scheduled for July, has been postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Olympics will likely be held in 2021. Ali, who grew up running in the Mallory Track Club in Philadelphia, plans to be there.
“Obviously, I wanted to build off the momentum I had last season,” Ali said. “That’s been my biggest thing to finally be in a position that I’ve grown tremendously without like having a setback before hand.
“Everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be at the time. I can’t question God’s plans. I just got to continue to keep my head down and keep grinding. It doesn’t change things in terms of the Olympic dream and any goals that I have for myself. It might come a little bit later than this summer.”
Ali, 31, got a good taste of the Olympic dream in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro where she won the silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles. The 5-foot-7 hurdler hopes to run in some meets overseas this summer unless they get cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.
“I’ll keep training prayerfully we’ll have these meets this season,” said Ali, who resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her family. “Hopefully, it doesn’t mean the end of the season eve for us. That’s what a lot of us want to know what does that mean our competition overseas because we compete overseas through September.
“But without the Olympics, the meet promoters still want the meets to go on. We just have to see how that will work logistically with all that’s going on and travel bans and everything. So, hopefully we can get everyone in a safe place to be able to continue to have a season like normal.”
Meanwhile, Ali plans to keep her skills sharp between now and next year.