Strength, agility, endurance, and speed are traits that have carried world silver medalist Anna Hall to the top of her sport.
But the 22-year-old will quickly tell you it’s her faith in Christ that has grounded her through the ups and downs of her career.
Just six weeks ago, Hall won the USA Track and Field championship title in the heptathlon which allowed her to compete in the World Championships.
At that World competition last week, she finished second by the slimmest of margins behind Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
“I went for it,” Hall said after the race. “Very bittersweet. I really wanted gold and I just fought my heart out and it just wasn’t there this year for me. Kat was just better today and I got beat.”
Although the finish was a disappointment to her, the silver medalist has become the second American woman in history to earn a heptathlon medal at more than one world championship. It puts her name beside three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Joyner-Kersee served as a mentor for Hall and was in Budapest, Hungary, for the World Championships to cheer her on.
“What I see are all the tools to rewrite the record books,” Joyner-Kersee said. “You’re seeing greatness in motion without even knowing the greatness is before you, because of her natural ability. When you see Anna compete, she competes with joy.”
Hall’s Instagram account reveals that she believes that her success is a matter of God’s timing, often writing #HisTiming on her posts.
The adage, “His Timing”, is also written on her track spikes, or running shoes.
She identifies herself as a “Follower of Christ” on social media and has referenced Romans 8:18 when reflecting on her performance at the World Championships.
Her path to turning pro has taken her from her hometown of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, where she attended Valor Christian High School, to the University of Florida where she won national championships in the pentathlon and heptathlon last year.
She turned pro just last summer.
In that short time, she suffered a broken foot at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials when she crashed in the 100-meter hurdles and in July she slipped on the long jump board during training and sustained an injury.
“I hyperextended my knee, had a little bit of a PCL injury and bone bruise – not ideal two weeks out from the world championships,” Hall said. “We did everything we could through all the treatments and rehabs, and I thought I was ready to go, and by no means can I expect anything less than gold for myself.”
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“You just can’t predict how the body is going to respond and I just fought the best that I could,” she said after her race.
Hall recently told Olympics.com that when she broke her foot God began to change the way she viewed track and field.
“The injury was a really big inflection point in my career,” she said. “I honestly don’t think I would have done what I did last year had I not gotten injured. As much as it hurt and I was so upset and I cried for months and I felt so bad for myself, I really think, honestly, that was God’s way of showing me, ‘OK, you need to change the way you’re looking at track.’”
As she sets her sights on the Paris 2024 Olympics, Hall says she is thankful for all that she has been through.
“I would say that I’m actually thankful for [the injury],” she said. “I think it just made last year just a really great story that a lot of other people have told me they were able to relate to… or that it helped them get through an injury. And so that’s been really, really special to me.”