Olympic gold medalist and former Benjamin Cardozo High School standout Dalilah Muhammad is looking forward to returning to The Armory where she remembers running as a seven-year-old. Photo by Victah Sailer
Olympic gold medalist and Queens native Dalilah Muhammad will make a triumphant return to The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center for the 110th NYRR Millrose Games set for February 11th.
Muhammad, who graduated from Benjamin Cardozo High School, hasn't competed at The Armory since running for the University of Southern California in 2011.
“I'm really excited," Muhammad said. "I've been racing at The Armory since I was seven years old. I remember my very first race at The Armory was the 1,500 meters."
Muhammad long ago gave up distance running and in 2016 became the first U.S. woman to win the Olympic gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles. At the Olympic Trials she ran a lifetime best 52.88 seconds to win the national title and move to No. 5 all-time in U.S. history.
Chasing the record of 52.47 by Lashinda Demus from 2011 and defending her global title at the IAAF World Championships are goals for 2017, Muhammad said.
“Getting a little bit close to (the record) makes it seem like an attainable goal," she said.
At Millrose, Muhammad is entered in the 500 meters, which is an event she has seldom run. But the chance to use the race as a test of fitness as she heads into the outdoor season is valuable.
“Every race I do is preparing me for the 400-meter hurdles," she added.
The opportunity to compete in front of family and friends is an added bonus.
Two of her best Armory memories involve running the 400 meters as a high school junior in 2007. She beat a field of college and pro athletes at the New Balance Games when she ran 54.28 seconds. She later won the National Scholastic title that year.
"It will be nice to go back and see the fans in New York," Muhammad said. "It's a chance for my family to see me run, feel the love, and get ready for the outdoor season."
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