New Delhi: Legendary athlete PT Usha has been elected as the the first woman President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Usha will also be the first Olympian and an international medallist to head the national Olympic committee, which goes to polls on December 10.
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, previously the Union Sports Minister, congratulated the athlete on her election. ‘Congratulations to legendary Golden Girl, Smt. P T Usha on being elected as the President of Indian Olympic Association. I also congratulate all the sporting heroes of our country on becoming the office bearers of the prestigious IOA! A nation is proud of them!’, tweeted Rijiju. Sports Authority of India (SAI) also retweeted Rijiju’s tweet.
Congratulations to legendary Golden Girl, Smt. P T Usha on being elected as the President of Indian Olympic Association. I also congratulate all the sporting heroes of our country on becoming the office bearers of the prestigious IOA! Nation is proud of them ! pic.twitter.com/LSHHdmMy9H
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) November 27, 2022
Earlier, the 58-year-old multiple Asian Games gold medallist had said that she is filing nomination for the post. ‘With the warm support of my fellow athletes and National Federations, I am humbled and honoured to accept and file for the nomination of the president of IOA!’ PT Usha tweeted on Saturday.
The star sprinter Usha is one of the greatest athletes to have ever come out of India and brags four gold medals and seven silvers at the Asian Games. She missed out on a podium finish in the women’s 400m hurdles at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics by 1/100th of a second. Her timing of 55.42s in LA still holds as a national record.
Fondly known as the ‘Payyoli Express’, Usha will be the first sportsperson to have played for the country at the highest level and also become the IOA chief since Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, who featured in a cricket Test match in 1934. Usha retired in 2000 after dominating the Indian and Asian athletics for close to two decades. She won 11 Asian Games medals, including four gold in a single edition at the 1986 Seoul meet, while clinching an astonishing 23 medals, including 14 gold, at the Asian Championships from 1983 to 1998.
Talking about the other IOA posts, Ajay Patel, chairman of Gujarat State Co-operative Bank and Ahmedabad District Co-Operative Bank, is set to be elected as the senior vice-president, being the lone candidate for the post. He is the president of the Gujarat State Rifle Association. Similarly, Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) president, Sahdev Yadav, is set to be elected the new treasurer of the IOA, with All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey as the male joint secretary.
There will be contest for the lone female joint secretary’s post between Alaknanda Ashok, Shalini Thakur Chawla and Suman Kaushik. London Olympics bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang, one of the SOMs, is the only candidate for the post of one male vice president. Two candidates, Rajlaxmi Singh Deo and Alaknanda Ashok, have filed nominations for ice-president (woman).
Share to Twitter