Philly native Nia Ali ran 12.59 to place second and win the silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles Wednesday night at the Rio Olympic Games.
Ali, who grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and ran for both West Catholic High School and Pleasantville High in South Jersey, was part of an unprecedented U.S. sweep, with Brianna Rollins winning gold in 12.48 and Kristi Caslin bronze in 12.61.
“I knew it was going to take a lot of just discipline,” Ali said on the NBC broadcast after the race. “It was going to be very hard to medal because everybody else out here had the same goals as I did. But I’m just happy me and these ladies were able to pull this off.”
It was the first sweep by any country in Olympic history in the 100-meter hurdles and also the first U.S. sweep in any women’s track event in Olympic history.
Ali, a two-time world indoor champ in the 60-meter hurdles, ran within 11-100ths of her personal best of 12.48, set in 2013, and within 4-100ths of her season-best of 12.55, set last month.
Ali is the first woman ever to graduate from a South Jersey high school and win an Olympic medal in track while competing for the United States.
Ali’s time equals the 10th-fastest in Olympic history.