Nia Ali-PAC0017320543


Nia Ali’s remarkable national and international track and field success continued Saturday afternoon.

The 2006 Pleasantville High School graduate finished second in the 100-meter hurdles at the USA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ali, 30, qualified to represent the USA at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September.

At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Ali won the silver medal in the 100 hurdles.

On Saturday, Keni Harrison, who holds the 100 hurdles world record, won in 12.44 seconds. Ali finished second in 12.55 seconds. Brianna McNeal, who won the 100 hurdles gold medal in Rio de Janiero, finished third in 12.61 seconds.

Ali qualified for the final Saturday by winning her semifinal heat in 12.78 seconds.

One week earlier, she finished second at an IAAF Diamond League meet in London. Danielle Williams, of Jamaica, won in 12.32. Ali’s time was 12.57.

Ali’s continued success is even more remarkable for a variety of factors.

First is her age. At 30, she is three years older than McNeal, 27, and four years older than Harrison, 26.

Ali also returned to competion this outdoor season after giving birth in June 2018 to the daughter, Yuri Zen, she had with boyfriend and Canadian sprinter and Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse. Ali also has a 4-year-old son, Titus Tinsley.

Ali lives and trains in Los Angeles. She grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia but moved to Pleasantville for her senior year of high school. Ali’s family is close with Pleasantville track and field coach Alan Laws. They come from the same Philadelphia neighborhood, and Ali refers to Laws as her uncle.

Friday was Laws’ birthday. On Saturday, Laws shared a text Ali sent him Friday.

“I wouldn’t be here competing this weekend if you didn’t believe in me and have my back from day 1,” she texted Laws.

Laws watched Saturday’s race.

“All I could say was ‘Wow,’ “ Laws said in a text. “What a birthday gift. She did it again.”

Ali won the 100 hurdles championship at the 2006 New Jersey outdoor track and field Meet of Champions. She still holds the Cape-Atlantic League 100 hurdles record with a time of 13.65 seconds.

In addition to her Olympic silver medal, Ali won the 60 hurdles at the 2016 and 2014 world indoor championships. She won the 100 hurdles at the 2011 NCAA Championships while at the University of Southern California.

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