USA’s Nia Ali claimed the 100m hurdles gold at the World Athletics Championships in Doha on Sunday night staving off stiff competition from Jamaica’s 2015 world champion Danielle Williams and USA’s world indoor champion Kendra Harrison with a lifetime best of 12.34s.
What makes this achievement even more special that Ali’s win comes within a year or two of giving birth, thus joining other ‘Supermoms’ like Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, USA’s Allyson Felix and Chinese race walker Liu Hong had all won gold medals within a year or two of giving birth.
Earlier this year, though, the 30-year-old Olympic silver medallist – who has a four-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter – went on record to say that she is no weaker for having had two children.
“Having babies makes us stronger,” she tweeted back in July. “There’s nothing weak about having a baby, so what makes any one person think we won’t ‘make it through it’ and succeed?”
The two-time world indoor champion had progressed steadily through this season and earned her place on the US team after finishing second at the national championships. Before heading to Doha, she had only one won one final this season, but she had proven time and time again that she is a strong championship performer.
A proven championship performer, Ali held off the strong three-pronged challenge from Harrison, Williams and Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan and crossed the line a metre ahead of her rivals.
Harrison got the better of Williams on the line, clocking 12.46 to take the silver medal just 0.01 ahead of her Jamaican rival. Amusan was fourth in 12.49. It was just the second time in history, after the 1987 World Championships final, in which four women have bettered 12.50.
“This is super special,” said Ali. “I have never won an outdoor world title, I am ecstatic. Shelly-Ann, Allyson, all the ladies who have come back from child birth are an inspiration for me and I am so excited to be able to pull of the world title.”