Alahna Sabbakhan, a Division 1 track and field athlete at the University of Virginia, recently garnered widespread attention for triumphing over a male challenger in a foot race, according to media reports. The captivating moment unfolded in a viral video, amassing over one million likes, capturing Sabbakhan's prowess and challenging gender stereotypes in sports.
The spirited competition emerged when Sabbakhan agreed to race a friend of her boyfriend's, who, as she explained in the video, doubted that a woman could outpace him. The race, spanning 400 meters, commenced with Sabbakhan keeping pace with her opponent, despite his admission that he "does not run." However, the turning point occurred after the initial 200 meters when Sabbakhan, true to her track runner instincts, accelerated to secure a decisive victory.
Speaking to TODAY, Sabbakhan expressed her amusement at the rumors circulating about her boyfriend's friend believing he could outrun her, deeming it "ridiculous." The challenger gathered his family and friends at the racetrack, expecting an ordinary race. Sabbakhan believed the outcome became evident during her warm-up, showcasing drills and a mile jog, leaving little room for doubt about her capabilities.
Video faces controversy
In the viral video, Sabbakhan noted her 57-second completion time for the 400 meters, deeming it "pretty good for practice" considering her primary event is the 800 meters. While her personal best times include 53 seconds for a 400m relay leg and 54 seconds for an open race, Sabbakhan deemed the impromptu race a successful workout.
Despite the positive outcome, Sabbakhan faced controversy on her TikTok page, prompting her to delete comments that sparked debates on whether female athletes are superior to their male counterparts. She clarified that her intention was not to make gender-based claims but to showcase her individual skills.